Rent Increase Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Why are rents being increased?

  • Tenancy agreements allow rents to be varied and the increase is based on regulatory guidance.  Our regulator’s rent setting guidance allows us to increase rents by the consumer price index plus 1%.

Q2. How are rent increases calculated?

  • Current government policy allows housing associations to make rent increases calculated by combining a ‘cost of living’ increase, which is set using the Consumer Price Index (CPI) measure of inflation, plus an additional 1%
  • CPI changes each month, so housing providers use the previous September’s CPI to calculate rent increases for the financial year starting the following April.

Q3. What is CPI?

  • CPI – the Consumer Price Index – is a figure used to measure inflation. It reflects how much the price of common goods and services changes over time across the UK.
  • The Consumer Price Index is taken from a point in time which is usually the September before the increase (i.e. September 2023). At this point the CPI was 6.7%

Q4. Who is the regulator?

  • The Regulator of Social Housing.

Q5. I pay service charges. Why are these being increased?

  • We have worked hard to keep service charges as low as possible.
  • Depending on your tenancy or lease agreement, service charges are calculated either by where you live and the actual costs of delivering the services you receive, or under a fixed service charge regime, meaning we estimate how much it will cost to deliver the services to your home and estate.
  • This cost is reviewed each year for us to determine the increase to be applied.
  • However, due to the increases in national energy and utilities bills along with the rising costs from our other external suppliers, we have had to increase these charges in some areas.
  • If you pay service charges, we are unfortunately not able to cap these, so they will vary in line with inflation.
  • Some properties are undergoing a service charge review to ensure that all charges are accurate and appropriate; you will have been contacted if this applies to you.

Q6. When will I know the amount of my new rent and service charges?

  • You will receive notification via a letter of the amount of rent and service charge applicable to your property.

Q7. I will struggle to make increased payments – what can I do?

  • Get in touch with us straight away, we have a dedicated money advice team who can offer support to ensure that rent liability is met.

Q8. Will Housing benefit cover the increase in charges?

  • As long as your own personal circumstances haven’t changed, then housing benefit should be increased to cover the increase in rent and eligible service charges.
  • We will inform the Local Authority of the new charges but you should make sure that the correct level of housing benefit is being paid.

Q9. Will Universal Credit cover the increase in charges?

  • As long as your own personal circumstances haven’t changed, then Universal credit housing element should be increased to cover the increase in rent and eligible service charges. However, it is your responsibility to inform the DWP.
  • You must add a note to your online journal, but you are unable to do this until the increase comes into effect.
  • If you don’t manage your UC claim online a copy of your rent increase notice should be provided to your work coach.
  • Any delays may cause you to be paid an incorrect amount and result in you accruing arrears.

Q10. I don’t think my property is worth the rent that is being charged, how can I get this reviewed?

  • You may have the opportunity to challenge the rent set for your property, depending on the type of tenancy you hold with us.
  • If you have an affordable rent tenancy agreement, the rent is set at 80% of the market value of similar properties in the area, when the property was let to you. There is no recourse to challenge the rent that is charged.
  • If you have a social rent tenancy agreement, and have been in the property longer than 12 months you will be served with a S13 notice which enables you to refer the notice to the Residential Property Tribunal. The tribunal will consider the application and determine the maximum rent for your home. The tribunal may set a rent that is higher, lower or the same as the proposed rent.