As we enter a new financial year the rent and service charges our residents pay is changing.
Changes to Service Charges
After consulting with you on the service charges that you pay, we have now notified all residents of the service charges they will need to pay each week or month over the coming year.
We would like to say a big thank you to all residents that came forward with questions or queries about their service charges. As a result of this consultation some service charges have been altered and consultations have been planned for the year ahead where interest was expressed for changes or for new items
The exact amount you pay for each of the services you receive was specified on the breakdown sent to you. This breakdown also indicates which of these services Housing Benefit will cover and which they will not.
Most service charges will be changing from 3rd April 2017 but you should check your letter to confirm this.
Changes to Rent Charges
The date of the increase of rents varies across our properties. You will receive a letter in advance telling you the exact date your rent will change. However, as a guide, most residents living in our supported accommodation, shared ownership residents and those who’s rent is charged monthly will find their rent changes on 3rd April. For others, the rent is likely to change on 8th May.
A number of the rents we charge have decreased this year. This is in response to a government instruction to reduce our rents for most tenure types by 1% per year for 3 years. Whilst this is welcome news for many residents it does have an impact on our income and therefore how much money we have to spend on things like repairs.
We have been working very hard to make sure that we are efficient and effective in the way that we spend money as a business. We have also been looking closely at the way that we can change the way we work to reduce or stop some spending altogether. For example, we now try to e-mail more as this is free and the cost of sending something by post continues to increase.
If you have any ideas on how you think we could save money please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or speaking to your Housing Officer.
If you pay by Direct Debit we will instruct Allpay (the company that manages this for us) to automatically change your payments. You will receive a letter from Allpay notifying you of any changes.
If you pay by Standing Order, Allpay Card or cash you will need to make sure that the amount you pay is correct from your service charge and/or rent change date. Your Housing Officer can help you with this if you are unsure what to pay or if you would like to set up a Direct Debit to help make this process easier in future.
If you are claiming Housing Benefit or Universal Credit you will need to notify them of any changes to your service charge or rent.
If you have any questions about your rent or service charges you can find more information in the ‘Your Rent’ section of our website.
You can also speak to your Housing Officer if you have any further questions or concerns.