Changes to rent and service charges from April 2021

Every year we review our rents and service charges in line with government legislation. You should have received a letter from us advising you of the rent and service charge increase which will come into effect from April. We’re raising rent to be able to continue delivering good quality services - which includes repairing, maintaining and improving your home.

When will the rent and service charges change?

For most residents the new charges will start on Thursday 1 April 2021. For others, the increase will come into effect at the start of one of these payment cycles:

5 April 2021 – first Monday in April

12 April 2021 - second Monday in April

3 May 2021 - first Monday in May

Your letter from us will tell you which cycle applies to your account with us.

How much will my rent be increased by?

In September 2019, the government introduced a new five-year policy for social housing rent increases. This allows all social housing providers to increase rents by CPI+1% of the existing rent each April from 2020 to 2025.

What is CPI?

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a figure used to measure inflation. The previous September’s CPI is used to calculate rent increases. In September 2020, CPI was 0.5%.

Therefore, your rent this year will increase by CPI+1% = 1.5% (0.5% + 1%).

How will the increase be communicated to residents?

Letters will be posted to you to give one month’s notification in advance of the start of the new charge. For example, if your new rent starts on 5 April 2021 you can expect to receive your letter on or before the 4 March 2021.

We will also notify Housing Benefit on your behalf letting them know of the change in your rent so they can reassess your benefits claim.

How will current payments be adjusted and by who?

If you are paying by direct debit you do not need to do anything. Payments will be updated by your housing officer.

If you are paying by a standing order you will need to contact your bank to have the amount changed to the new amount being charged.

What do my rent and service charges cover?

Your total rent is made up of:

• Net rent – this is the rent you pay for your home

• Service charges – this is made up of all communal charges. Examples of a service charge include but are not limited to cleaning of communal areas, grounds maintenance, gardening, door entry-phone, lift maintenance, community caretakers, scheme managers, sheltered scheme coordinators or night managers.

• Personal charges – these are paid in addition to service charges. These relate to water, gas and electricity usage for individual flats, meal charges, community alarm systems and council tax.

How can I question my rent and service charges if I do not agree with the increase?

The best way is online via our My Account service. Click on the 'my enquiries' box and select 'rent and charges enquiry'.

Alternatively, you can contact your housing officer. Their contact details will be on the rent notification letter we’re posting to you.

If you’d like independent advice, you can contact Citizens Advice, Housing Advice Centre or a solicitor.

If you think your rent increase is unreasonable, you have the right to appeal to the First Tier Tribunal which is independent of Notting Hill Genesis. To appeal, you must apply to them before the date your rent increases. All the information about how to appeal can be found on their website. 

What if I cannot afford my new Rent/Service Charges?

Citizens Advice offer free, confidential and impartial advice on dealing with debt and budgeting. For more info visit www.adviceguide.org.uk or call 0344 411 1444.

Many of us have found ourselves in debt and experienced the emotional pressure it can cause. If you have a debt problem it’s important not to panic, but you can’t ignore it either – it won’t go away.

If you find yourself unable to pay your rent on the due dates, you should contact your housing officer as soon as you can. They will be able to help with alternative payment arrangements and may be able to suggest who you can contact to claim any benefits you might be entitled to.

Can I pay my rent and service charges online?

Yes, you can pay your rent through our online portal My Account. To register, you will need your payment reference number which you can find on any correspondence you’ve received from us. You will also need the surname and date of birth of the registered tenant or leaseholder. For help, email myaccounthelp@nhg.org.uk.