Frequently asked questions about your rent
How are social housing rents set?
The Government requires housing associations and councils to use a formula to set their rents for secure, assured and fixed term tenants who pay social rent. This means that different landlords in an area will charge similar rents for similar homes, ensuring a fair and consistent system.
As part of the 2013 Government spending round, the government set out how increases in both social and affordable rents will be calculated over the next 10 years starting from 2015/16. This is called Formula Rent.
Formula Rent is based on a combination of:
- property values (as at January 1999)
- average salaries in the local area
- property size (number of bedrooms)
Using this combination means rents for similar properties in the same area will be the same.
How is my rent worked out?
From April 2017, if you live in social housing your rent will be reduced by 1%.
Why has my charge increased when I am eligible for the 1% rent reduction?
Your rent has been reduced by 1% in line with government guidelines. However, your charge may include service charges which will affect the overall amount payable.
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.
What is a Section 13 notice? Does it apply to me?
If your charge is increased and your tenancy agreement does not have provisions for your charge to be reviewed, a Section 13 notice is legally required to be issued to you one month before the increase is applied.
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 takes effect.
The tribunal is the First-tier Tribunal or the Upper Tribunal, a legal body with legislative powers to settle disputes in relation to the level of rent amongst other things. It is an independent decision making body which is completely unconnected to the parties or any other public agency. The Tribunal will look at the matter of the rent dispute for the property following an application or a referral made to it. You can contact any office in writing, by telephone, via e-mail, or you can visit their office. Please visit gov.uk for the contact details of the regional office that covers your area.
How is my service charge set?
Please read the ‘Your Service Charge Estimate Explained’ booklet enclosed with your letter. It can also be found on the service charges page.
When do I pay ground rent?
If you are liable to pay ground rent (as detailed in your lease) you will be issued with a legal notice requesting payment no more than 60 days before payment is due. If you are due to pay ground rent you will receive notification of this in a separate letter
My rent and service charges are too high at the moment. What can I do about it?
The Government’s rent policy sets formula rents which Hyde follows using the prescribed yearly formula as shown earlier. 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.
If you have concerns about being able to pay your rent and service charge please call our Customer Services team on 0800 3 282 282.
I have received my rent review letter but my rent is paid by Housing Benefit. Do I need to do anything?
We provide details of rent increases for all residents that are in receipt of Housing Benefit to the local authority at the time your rent change letter is sent out. It is, however, your responsibility to ensure that your Housing Benefit is changed accordingly.
I have received my rent review but I claim Universal Credit. Do I need to do anything?
Yes. It is your responsibility to ensure that the Department for Work and Pensions is aware of the change in your rental charge and also to ensure you pay your rent. You can find out more about Universal Credit and how to pay your rent in our simple short film.
I have received my rent review letter, but my rent is paid by Direct Debit. Do I need to do anything?
Your Direct Debit will be automatically adjusted and you should receive notification from Allpay in April 2017. Your Direct Debit instruction will be updated from your May 2017 payment.
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.
It is your responsibility to ensure that your Direct Debit has been increased correctly to cover the full charge that you need to pay your rent.
I have received my rent review letter, but my rent is paid by standing order. Do I need to do anything?
Yes, you are responsible for telling your bank about the new rent and service charge. It’s important you do this so the payment can be adjusted in line with your new amount. You may wish to consider moving to Direct Debit so that the change happens automatically in future.
What happens if I don’t pay my rent and/or service charge on time?
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. Your tenancy agreement will state how often the rent is charged (normally weekly or monthly) and will state when you need to pay your rent. For more information, see our page on Paying on Time. You must contact us if there are any changes to your circumstances which affect your ability to pay your rent and service charges on time. We try to prevent this happening by helping you with budget advice and benefit applications, but rent payments are your responsibility and it is you and your family who are at risk of losing your home. Payment of rent and service charge is not optional. If you need help please contact us. We are here to help you.
- What method of payment can I use to pay my rent or service charge?
I can’t find my question/query. Who do I contact?
If you have any queries, please call our Customer Services Centre on 0800 3 282 282 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.