About your rent
How we calculate your rent and service charges
The government sets out the guidelines on how housing associations calculate rent.
In July 2015 the government announced that our rents will be reduced by 1% each year for the four financial years from April 2016. After this, the calculation will revert to the usual formula of the current rent and the Consumer Price Index (CPI) % rise plus 1%.
This applies to all social rented properties.
If you are a shared owner/leaseholder your rent will be calculated according to the provision within your lease.
Your rent pays for:
- Repairs to your home and surrounding neighbourhood
- Improvements to your home, such as new bathrooms and kitchens
- Our office and staff costs
- Interest on the loans we have taken out in order to fund the building of new homes.
Any changes to your rent are effective from the increase date specified in your tenancy agreement.
Rent increases are subject to a limit. The limit is at the rate of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus 1% each year. The CPI figure used is the figure from September of the year before the increase takes place.
You will be given a minimum notice period of one month. You will be served a rent increase notice that is headed: ‘Section 13(2) of the Housing Act 1988. Form number 4B’.
This notice is the legal notification that your rent is going to change. It will tell you what your rent is now and how much it will be changing to.
Please contact us first so we can explain why your rent is going up.
If you are not satisfied with the answer, then in most cases you can refer the rent increase notice to a Rent Tribunal, an independent panel who will compare the proposed rent to similar properties in your area. They can determine a lower rent or a higher rent. Please note that this only applies if your rent has been increased by the Section 13 notice.
Guidance notes are supplied with the rent increase notice, which advise you how to ask for an independent review.
Some residents pay service charges for the property they live in. A service charge is a charge for a service provided to your home that is shared with other properties in a block or on an estate; in some cases it is personal to you.
Your service charges are called ‘variable’ service charges. The expected cost of providing the service is split equally between the properties receiving the service on the estate or in the scheme or block.
A variable service charge is based on the actual cost of providing the service or services and can go up or down accordingly. Any surplus or deficit will be carried over to the next financial year.
Service charges are estimated at the beginning of each year based on previous costs and estimated spend. Service charge budgets are prepared carefully to make sure that they are realistic and reasonable.
We send you a summary of our expenditure six months after the end of the financial period, which shows you if there is an over or under payment.
We provide a wide range of extra services. The services we provide differ depending on where you live and the local facilities available. Not everyone receives these services as it’s not always possible to provide them in your area. Here are a few examples of the services that may be included in your service charge:
- Lift maintenance
- Door entry maintenance
- Gardening of communal areas
- Lighting in communal areas
- TV and digital aerials
- Fire equipment protection
- Management fee.
Housing benefit covers these communal charges.
There are some services that may be personal to you such as:
- Personal heating and hot water
- Personal water rates
- Emergency Link line services.
Housing benefit will NOT cover these charges.
The service charges you pay will depend on where you live and the services you receive. Your tenancy agreement states which services you receive. Your total service charge payable is detailed in your rent increase notice.