Service Charges

The rent you pay goes back into repairing and maintaining your home and communal areas, 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.

How is my rent set?

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 in this table 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

    If you disagree with the proposed new rent and you wish to appeal, then you must make an application of appeal to First Tier Property.

    First Tier Property is an independent body and they have very strict timelines. You must make your application of appeal within one calendar month of you receiving your rent review letter.

    If you make an application after one calendar month, it will be dismissed.

    The details of the First Tier Tribunal are:

    First Tier Tribunal
    Midlands Region
    Residential Property
    Centre City Tower 
    5-7 Hill Street
    B5 4UU

    Tel: 0121 600 7888 
    Fax: 01264 785 122

    This office covers the following:

    Metropolitan districts: Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall, Wolverhampton.
    Unitary authorities: Derby, Leicester, Rutland, Nottingham, Herefordshire, Telford and Wrekin and Stoke on Trent.
    Counties: Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.