Rents and service charges
It is a condition of your tenancy that your rent is paid at least a week in advance. This means that if you pay your rent weekly, you should be paying your rent during the week that it is due, or if you pay fortnightly or monthly, you should be paying the rent at the beginning of that period.
The income we receive from rent payments is our main source of income. It pays for repairs, maintenance, improvements and the management of your home. Some of it also goes towards interest charges on money we have borrowed.
How rents are set
It was the government's aim that all people living in social housing will pay similar rents for similar properties in the same area, regardless of whether they are living in council or housing association homes. The target date for what is known as the “target” rent was 2012. Two years slippage have subsequently been allowed for those tenants who were still not paying the target rent after the April 2012 deadline elapsed. The process of setting rents is known as rent restructuring.
The factors that determine how your rent is set are:
- The size of your property and its facilities.
- The market value of the property.
- The local earnings levels.
After the next rent review has been carried out for Assured and Secure tenants (see below) the target rent will have been achieved. From April 2015 rents for Assured and Secure tenants will be increased in most cases by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) plus 1% per annum.
Please note that in a smaller number of homes, particularly those designed for key workers, the rents may differ from this as they are based on a proportion of the current market rent. These are known as intermediate rents.
If your tenancy started on or after the 15th January 1989 but before July 2011, you will have an assured tenancy. We will review your rent on the first Monday of April each year, and you will be given at least 4 weeks notice in writing of any changes to it.
If your tenancy started before 15th January 1989, you will have a secure tenancy (also known as a 'fair rent tenancy'), and your rent is set by the Rent Service Agency every two years, who will determine a fair rent for your home. The dates when we review the rents for secure tenants vary according to when they were first registered by the Rent Service Agency.
Assured shorthold tenants
These can be either key worker tenants or “fixed term” tenants. Fixed term tenancies applies to all tenancies granted after July 2011.
The key worker tenant typically pays a rent equivalent to 75% of the market rent. Rents are reviewed annually and the level depends on how market rents have moved in the preceding 12 months.
Fixed term tenants have tenancies for a fixed term of 6 years for single persons and childless couples, and families are given tenancies for a 10 year period. After the fixed term has expired the tenancy is reviewed and (depending on the households circumstances at the time of the review) the tenancy will either be extended for a further fixed term or brought to an end. All fixed term tenants pay what is termed as an “affordable” rent of up to 80% of the market rent. Rent reviews are carried out annually each year and linked to inflation.
Appealing against your rent
You have the right to appeal against your rent if you think it has been calculated incorrectly. In the first instance you should contact us and we will check it for you and explain in detail how it has been calculated.
If you are still unhappy with how your rent has been calculated, let us know and we will advise you of the further route of appeal that is open to you. This is dependent on the type of tenancy you have.