Service Charges

How is my rent set?

The rent you pay goes back into repairing and maintaining your home, building new homes, and meeting the cost of future improvements such as new kitchens and heating systems. It’s important that we charge a fair price for our rent.

We'll also provide clear information on rent charges, reviews and annual increases so that you fully understand how we calculate your rent. You can also read this document to help you understand your rent review letter.

Please have a look at the information below to help you understand your rent charges.

  • Why am I paying service charges?

    We include service charges as part of your total rent and these are set out in your tenancy agreement. If your home has communal areas that you share with your neighbours your service charges cover things like:

    • Gardening
    • Cleaning halls and stairs
    • Shared lighting
    • Warden services
    • Rangers services
    • Laundry facilities
    • Door-entry systems and fire alarms
    • Cleaning windows

    We have fixed service charges for most of our rented homes. This means that the charges change every year based on a fixed formula (e.g. actual costs or increases in Retail Prices Index).

    We have variable service charges for our owned/shared ownership homes. We issue audited accounts out to residents each year and if the scheme has a surplus or a deficit this is rolled over to the next financial year for the scheme depending on the actual expenditure.

    A surplus means if there is a credit that is passed over to the residents so they pay less for their service charges. If the scheme is running at a deficit, then residents will have to pay more for their service charges.

  • Why has my rent gone up?

    Every year we review the rent that you pay for your home. We use a formula given to all Councils and Housing Associations by the Government.

    After four years of a 1% reduction to your rent, the government has announced that rents will rise by CPI + 1% from April 2020. You can read more about this here.

    The aim of the annual review is to create a fair system for customers regardless of whether they are a council or housing association tenant. Customers should be paying a similar rent to others living in the same size property in the same area.

    The rent review takes into account several factors:

      • The size of the property
      • The valuation of the property
      • The average household income for the county in which you live

    Rent increases

    • The Government sets a maximum increase level for any single year. Most of the rent increases occur in the first week of April.
    • We'll write to you before any increase, giving a calendar month notice of the planned rent increase
  • What if I disagree with my rent increase

     What should I do if I'm behind on my rent?

    If you’re struggling to keep up with your rent you’ll need to call us on 0345 6020 540 to discuss the problem. We can only help you if you tell us you're having issues.

    We can refer you to our Money Advice Team who will offer you free, confidential advice about how to manage your finances. They'll look carefully at your personal situation to offer the best way forward for you.

    They can even help you to sort out your debts and benefits.

    What are arrears?

    You'll be in 'arrears' if you've missed one or more rent payments. This means that you owe money to us.

    We have a set process that we follow to help you repay your debt. If you still do not pay we will have to take legal action and you may be evicted from your home.

    Have a look below for more information about at the steps we take and what you can do if you are in this position.