We’ve written to most of our residents this week setting out rent and service charges from 1 April 2023 when the new financial year begins.
The letters have been tailored to account for individual circumstances and to make clear what you’re being charged for and why. They also include information we need to cover for legal reasons. Please make sure you read your rent/service charges letter in full and get in touch if you have any questions or concerns.
For most residents, we’ve limited your rent increase to 7% in line with a cap agreed nationally for those who live in general needs social housing. We’ve also applied the cap to rents for leaseholders in shared ownership homes. That means that the rise is significantly lower than it would have been had it been based on inflation rates as per the terms of the shared ownership lease.
Rents for residents in care and support services are not covered by the cap and will increase by 11.1% in line with the usual formula set by our regulator – the consumer price index (CPI) of inflation in September 2022 + 1%.
Although the levels of increase vary, we appreciate that any rise is unwelcome, especially given ongoing cost-of-living pressures. Unfortunately, high inflation has also driven up our costs, which means we need to increase rents to ensure we can continue to make improvements to homes and services and manage our properties well.
Please take a look at the range of advice and resources we offer if you need help.
The best way for you to ask any questions about your rent or service charges is via My Account or by calling your housing or property management officer.
Reporting your annual rent increase to Universal Credit and Housing Benefit
Here is some useful information on how to report your rent increase to the DWP if you receive Universal Credit or to the local authority, if you get Housing Benefit.
If you are receiving Universal Credit (including a Housing Costs element)
- You need to report your rent increase via your online journal BUT you will not be able to do this until the date that the increase takes effect (on 1 April for monthly rents or Monday 3 April for weekly rents)
- A task should appear in your ‘to do’ list to enable you to report this change, you should report the change via this ‘to do’ on the date that the rent increases (or as soon as possible after)
- If your Universal Credit claim is a telephone claim you must call the Universal Credit service centre on 0800 328 5644.
If you are receiving Housing Benefit
- You will need to supply the Housing Benefit department with a copy of your rent increase letter. Depending on the local authority, you will be able to do this via the local authority website or by handing it in at the council offices.
- You can report this change in advance as soon as you receive your rent increase letter.