Understanding your rent review

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Last month you received your new rent and service charges for the coming year (April 2024 to March 2025). Some residents have asked us why their rent and service charges have increased. This article explains the reasons for the increases.

Our absolute priority is to invest in resident’s homes and to continue to improve our services. When setting the rent and reviewing service charges, we look at what it costs to provide our services to you.

The Government regulates how we set rents through the Rent Standard, which determines how much rent can be increased by.

The Rent Standard allows us to increase rent by September Consumer Prices Index (CPI) +1%. In September 2023 CPI was 6.7%, meaning your rent will increase by 7.7% from April 2024.

We’ve carefully considered the decision to increase rent. Rent supports essential maintenance, safety checks, maintenance programmes and long-term improvements. Due to increased costs associated with these services, we need to raise rents by the allowed 7.7%.

Service charges cover the costs of services provided in communal areas and around your property, on the estate, scheme and block of flats or houses that you live in. For example, your service charges might include items like communal cleaning, gardening, lift servicing, communal utility bills etc.

Unlike rent, service charges are not subject to the rent cap, but are charged at the actual cost of the service being delivered. You will be able to see the breakdown of charges in your statement.

Town & Country Housing is a not for profit organisation, and we can’t make any profit from service charges. The variable service charges ensure you only pay for the services provided.

Every five to six years, there’s an extra Monday in the calendar year. This means in the 2024/2025 financial year, you’ll pay an additional week of rent. Since your rent is charged weekly on Monday’s, this means you’ll pay rent for 53 weeks, instead of 52. The extra Monday also affects Universal Credit payments.

Here’s how this affects your payments and how you can work it out:

Weekly:

No change, please just continue to pay your new weekly rent on its due date.

Monthly:

Multiply your weekly rent by 53 then divide it by 12.

Example: £200 weekly rent x 53 / 12 = £883.33

Fortnightly:

Multiply weekly rent by 53 then divide it by 26.

Example: £200 weekly rent x 53 / 26 = £407.69

Every four weeks:

Multiply weekly rent by 53 then divide it by 13.

Example: £200 weekly rent x 53 / 13 = £815.38

If you pay by Direct Debit no action is needed from you, we’ll adjust your payments automatically.

If you make payments, but not by Direct Debit, please use the calculations above to work out how much you need to pay.

If you’re on Universal Credit, unfortunately the DWP only funds 52 weeks of rent. This means you’ll need to budget for the extra week yourself.

If you get your Universal Credit Housing Element paid directly to us, you’ll need to pay for one extra week. Please contact your Income Manager if you would like to discuss this with us.

If you receive Housing Benefit your local authority will adjust your payment to the correct amount.

You can find your new rent and service charge amount in the letter we sent you last month. You can also find your rent statement on MyHomeOnline.

Alternatively, you can call our Customer Services Centre and one of the team will be happy to help you.

If you have any questions, or you need assistance with recalculating your payments, please contact us via info@tch.org.uk or by calling 01892 501480.

We understand that any increase to bills can bring financial stress, and that’s why our Money Support Team is on hand to offer you advice. Please visit the Money Support Services webpage to find out the ways that they can help.

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