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Rent - questions and answers

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.

    As you may be aware, over the past four years your rent has been reduced by 1% as part of the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016 Guidance.

    This year (2020/21) your rent will increase and has been set in accordance with regulation, using the September 2019 Consumer Price Index (CPI).

    Social Rents are set following the Direction on the Rent Standard 2019 Policy, meaning rent will be increased by a maximum of Consumer Price Index (CPI)* +1%.

    *The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measures the change in prices of consumer goods and services bought by households, but doesn't include the costs of your home.
  • 2. How is my rent worked out?

    How is my rent worked out?

    From April 2020, if you live in social housing, as a general rule, your rent will be increased by the September 2019 CPI (as decided by the government) +1%. If this increase exceeds the rent flexibility level then rent will be increased by the September 2019 CPI only.

    This is explained in more detail in the Direction on the Rent Standard 2019 Policy, supported by Policy statement on rents for social housing. Any exceptions are set out under the Changes in Rent by Tenure section of our website.

    *The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measures the change in prices of consumer goods and services bought by households, but doesn't include the costs of your home.
  • 3. 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. The increase however, has been capped at 20% to limit the impact of significant increases in the local market.

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

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

    If your tenancy agreement does not have terms and conditions for your rental charge review and your charge is increased, you will be issued with a Section 13 notice with your letter.

    The Section 13 notice also explains your right of appeal to the tribunal* for a market rent to be determined.

    If you are unhappy with the level of your rent increase, you have the right to appeal to the tribunal. If you wish to appeal you must do so before the date the increase starts.

    The *tribunal is the First-tier Tribunal or the Upper Tribunal, a body with legal powers to settle disputes including the level of rent. It is an independent decision-making body which is completely unconnected to the landlord, the resident, or any other public agency. The tribunal will look into a rent dispute for a property once it receives an application or referral. You can contact any office in writing, by telephone, via e-mail, or you can visit their office. Please see the tribunals section of gov.uk for the contact 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 upcoming year based on the services you receive. Whilst some contract values are set, other costs are variable. 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. Following the end of the financial year, we add up how much we’ve actually spent and we 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 receipt of their statement or will be issued a refund for any surplus. For tenants, any difference is rolled into their 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.

    Please refer to our service charge page for information on our 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 are liable to pay ground rent (as detailed in your lease) you will receive a legal notice requesting payment up to 60 days before it is due. If you are due to pay ground rent you will receive notification of this with your rent change notification letter.

    Payment is due before 30 April 2020. If you pay by direct debit, your ground rent will be collected in your April 2020 payment.

  • 7. 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 us. The sooner you get in touch, the sooner we can help.

    Hyde follows the Government’s rent policy which sets the yearly rents, so we are unable to change these. Service charges are based on the services you receive and, in some cases, a contribution to a reserve account for future works. This too, cannot be changed.

  • 8. I have received my rent letter but my rent is paid by Housing Benefit. Do I need to do anything?

    I have received my rent letter but my rent is paid by Housing Benefit. Do I need to do anything?

    For residents who claim Housing Benefit, we send rent charge details to your local authority at the same time as your rent change letter, however we advise you also contact your local authority to ensure your benefit payment is up to date.

  • 9. I have received my rent letter but I claim Universal Credit (UC). Do I need to do anything?

    I have received my rent letter but I claim Universal Credit (UC). Do I need to do anything?

    Yes. It is your responsibility to make sure that the Department for Work and Pensions is aware of the change in your rental charge and can adjust your payment. You need to update your online account with your new rent and service charges within 14 days of your rent changing. This date is on your rent notification letter.

    To do this, log in to your UC online account and in ‘where you live and what it costs’ input the new rent figures given to you in your letter. Then check your journal to confirm that it shows you have done this.

    If you forget, do this as soon as possible. If you do not, you risk receiving an incorrect payment and falling behind on your rent.

  • 10. 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 2020 payment.

    You should receive a letter directly from Allpay in March 2020. It is your responsibility to check that your Direct Debit has been increased correctly to cover the full charge that you need to pay.

    If you are on partial Housing Benefit and pay by Direct Debit, we will have to wait for the Housing Benefit department to tell us what your new entitlement is before we can make the change.

  • 11. 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?

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

  • 12. 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 must be first on your list of outgoings. This is because non-payment can result in you being evicted from your home.

    You must contact us if there are any changes to your circumstances which affect your ability to pay your rent. We try to prevent this happening by helping you with budget advice and benefit applications, but rent payments are your responsibility and you could be at risk of losing your home if you do not pay your rent.

    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.

  • 13. 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?

    Please visit our Ways to Pay page for more details.

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

    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.

  • 15. 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. Your rent is calculated according to the rules set out in the Direction on the rent standard 2019, supported by the policy statement on rents for social housing.

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.
Retail Prices Index (RPI): measures the change in price levels of consumer goods and services purchased by households including the costs of your home.
Office of National Statistics (ONS): the UK’s largest independent producer of official statistics.