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Rent - FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Answers to questions you may have about your rent

  • 1. How are social housing rents set?

    How are social housing rents set?

    Social rents are set by the government.

    This year (2022/23) your rent will increase in line with the social housing regulator, using the September 2021 Consumer Price Index (CPI).

    Social Rents are set by following government rules set out by the Rent Standard 2020. This means that rent will be increased by a maximum of Consumer Price Index (CPI) +1%.

    There are two government documents that explain how social rents are set in detail:

    More detail can be found on the Policy statement on rents for social housing.

    There are some variations depending on type of tenure, these are listed under the ‘Changes in Rent by Tenure’ section of our website.

  • 2. My rent is set at intermediate or market rent. How will my new rent be set?

    My rent is set at intermediate or market rent. How will my new rent be set?

    Market rent is based on the average local market rate for the type of property you rent. Your charge will reflect any changes to the local market.

    If your rent is an intermediate market rent it will be set at 80% of the local market rate. We have capped the increase this year at 4.1% to avoid very large increases. If you’re not sure whether your rent is set at intermediate or market rent, check your tenancy agreement or contact our Income team by dialing 0800 3 282 282 and selecting option 3 or by filling in our rent and payment enquiry form.

  • 3. My rent and service charges are too high at the moment. What can I do about it?

    My rent and service charges are too high at the moment. What can I do about it?

    If you have concerns about being able to pay your rent and service charge, please contact our Income team by dialing 0800 3 282 282 and selecting option 3 or by filling in our rent and payment enquiry form. The sooner you get in touch, the sooner we can help.We have lots of information, advice and guidance on our website.

    If you’re struggling with your finances, take a look at our page - Help with rent arrears and benefits You may be entitled to housing benefit or universal credit. There are also external sources that can help, and we have a whole page dedicated to help with paying your energy bills

  • 4. What is a Section 13 notice? Does it apply to me?

    What is a Section 13 notice? Does it apply to me?

    When a tenancy agreement doesn’t have terms and conditions for rental charges, and your rent is increasing, you’ll be sent a Section 13 notice along with your letter.

    The Section 13 notice confirms your rent and explains your right of appeal to an independent Tribunal*.

    If you wish to appeal you must do so before the date the increase starts.

    *The Tribunal’s official name is First-Tier Tribunal or the Upper Tribunal. They are an independent body with legal powers to settle disputes, including rent. It’s completely unconnected to the landlord, the resident, or any other public agency. If you want to appeal, you must do so with the correct method, which is explained in the Section 13 notice, the Tribunal will look at the rent dispute. Sometimes people also get referred to the Tribunal.

    You can contact any Tribunal office in writing, by telephone, via e-mail, or you can visit their office (please check opening times). These offices are regional. Visit the GOV.UK website to find full details of the regional office that covers your area.

  • 5. How is my service charge estimate calculated?

    How is my service charge estimate calculated?

    Your estimate is a calculation of how much we think we’re going to spend during the next year based on the services you receive, and the contracts we hold.

    Whilst some contract costs are set and can’t change, other costs can change, we call these variable costs. For example, we do not know how much we might spend on responsive repairs, so we ask you to pay an estimated charge throughout the year. At the end of the financial year, we add up how much we’ve actually spent and then send you a Service Charge Statement with the actual costs. We may have charged you more (surplus) or less (deficit) than we spent.

    Homeowners are expected to pay any deficit following their statement or will be issued a refund for any surplus.

    For tenants, any difference is rolled into the estimate for the following year, so if we have charged you less than we spent, we recover that by increasing your charges the following year. If we charged you more than we spent, we’ll reduce your charges for the next year.

    You can check out our dedicated service charge pages for all information including property groupings and how your share of service costs has been calculated.

  • 6. When do I pay ground rent?

    When do I pay ground rent?

    If you’re liable to pay ground rent (if you’re not sure you should check in your lease), you’ll be sent a legal notice requesting payment up to 60 days before payment is due. The notification will come along with your rent change letter.

    Payment is due before 30 April 2022. If you pay by Direct Debit, your ground rent will be collected in your April 2022 payment.

  • 7. I have received my rent letter but my rent is paid by Housing Benefit/Universal Credit (UC). Do I need to do anything?

    I have received my rent letter but my rent is paid by Housing Benefit/Universal Credit (UC). Do I need to do anything?

    Yes. It is your responsibility to make sure that Housing Benefit or the Department for Work and Pensions are aware of the change in your rental charge.

    If you claim Housing Benefit, you need to contact your local Housing Benefit office to advise them of your new rent and service charges before your rent changes. The date your rent changes is on your rent notification letter.

    If you claim Universal Credit, you need to update your online account with your new rent and service charges within 14 days of your rent changing. The date your rent changes is on your rent notification letter.

    To do this, log in to your UC online account, under the heading ‘where you live and what it costs’, put in the new rent figures given to you in your letter. Then check your journal to confirm that it shows that you have done this. If you forget, do it as soon as possible. If you don’t do this, you risk receiving an incorrect payment and falling behind on your rent.

  • 8. I have received my rent letter, but my rent is paid by Direct Debit. Do I need to do anything?

    I have received my rent letter, but my rent is paid by Direct Debit. Do I need to do anything?

    Your Direct Debit will be automatically adjusted, and your Direct Debit instruction will be updated from your April 2022 payment.

    You should receive a letter directly from Allpay in March 2022. Please check this letter to make sure that your Direct Debit has been increased correctly to cover the full charge that you need to pay.

    If you have not received a letter from Allpay by the end of March 2022 with your Direct Debit changes, please contact our Income team by dialing 0800 3 282 282 and selecting option 3 or by filling in our rent and payment enquiry form to confirm your changes have been applied.

    If you are on partial Housing Benefit and pay by Direct Debit, please contact the income team when Housing Benefit have told you about your new entitlement so we can be sure that your Direct Debit payment is correct.

  • 9. I have received my rent letter, but I pay my rent online. Do I need to do anything?

    I have received my rent letter, but I pay my rent online. Do I need to do anything?

    In this case, you are responsible for making sure that the payment is correct. If you pay by standing order, it is important you tell your bank to update your payment in line with your new rent and service charge. Please do this right away to avoid falling behind on rent.

    You may wish to consider moving to Direct Debit so that the change happens automatically in the future.

  • 10. What happens if I don’t pay my rent and/or service charge?

    What happens if I don’t pay my rent and/or service charge?

    Payment of your rent and service charge should be your top priority from your outgoings. Failure to pay will result in you being evicted from your home.

    If there are any changes to your circumstances which might affect your ability to pay your rent then please contact our income team as soon as possible by dialing 0800 3 282 282 and selecting option 3 or by filling in our rent and payment enquiry form.

    We have lots of information, advice and guidance on our website. If you’re struggling with your finances, take a look at our page, Help with rent arrears and benefits. You may be entitled to housing benefit or universal credit. There are also external sources that can help, and we have a whole page dedicated to help with paying your energy bills.

    Payment of rent and service charge is not optional. We are here to help you, so please contact us as soon as possible if you are having financial problems.

  • 11. What method of payment can I use to pay my rent or service charge?

    What method of payment can I use to pay my rent or service charge?

    We have many ways to pay and a Direct Debit is our most popular. Please visit our ways to pay page for more details.

    Don’t forget about MyAccount, this is a free, safe and secure online service that can be used anytime, anywhere to manage your rent and service charge account. Visit our MyAccount page to find out more.

  • 12. I’m a shared owner and I have a query about my rent. Who do I contact? Please visit our shared owner rents page for additional information on rent charges for shared owners.

    I’m a shared owner and I have a query about my rent. Who do I contact?

    We have a dedicated Home Ownership Team ready to answer all your questions. Please contact us through the regular channels to be referred.
  • 13. Why is my rent more than my neighbour's?

    Why is my rent more than my neighbour's?

    We are unable to discuss your neighbour’s tenancy with you directly, but differences can occur because of tenancy type or the rental history of your home.
  • 14. What is MyAccount?

    What is MyAccount?

    MyAccount is a free, safe and secure online service that can be used anytime, anywhere to manage your rent and service charge account. Please visit MyAccount for more information.
    Your new charges will show on MyAccount from 1 April 2022, for monthly charged accounts or 4 April 2022 for weekly charged accounts.

I can’t find my question/query. Who do I contact?

If you have any queries, please contact us.

Definitions

Consumer Prices Index (CPI): measures the change in price levels of consumer goods and services purchased by households but excludes the costs of your home.