Changes to your rent from April 2020

Every year our tenants get a rent letter explaining any changes. This April your rent will go up by 2.7%.

The difference that you will see in your new rent statement will be an increase of 0.76%*.

So if your rent last year was £100 a week, it will go up to £100.76.

You’ll get a detailed breakdown on the amount at the beginning of March 2020 in your annual rent letter - along with any changes to your service charges, if you have them.

Here are some examples to give you a rough idea. Yours will be different of course.

Rent increase table

 

We have given the rent increase a lot of thought and discussed it with our Board. We need to be able to provide all the things we promised in our Five Year Plan, but we also want to make this increase as manageable and fair as possible.

Over the last four years the government told housing associations like Peaks & Plains that they should cut their rents by 1% each year, which is what we did.

But from April 2020 the government has decided that we can increase tenants’ rents by the rate of inflation, which is 1.7 per cent plus 1 per cent increase.

1.7% +  1%  =  2.7%

But the difference you will see on your rent statement is an increase of 0.76% (per cent).

Yes we do. 

Over the last four years we have reduced your rent by 1 per cent each year. If we are to fulfil all our promises, keep our homes in good condition and build new ones we need to increase rents this year.

If we keep your rent as it is, we won’t be able to deliver our promises and we will have to make some tough choices to either build less or not at all, to invest less and to do less in our neighbourhoods.

 

If you are in a rented property (not Shared Ownership) your service charges will increase by the same amount (0.76% in real terms).

This is in line with our Service Charge Policy. The policy states we will set charges appropriately to cover the cost of providing our services.

Your rent letter will tell you more. You’ll get this at the beginning of March.

1. Yes. It is your responsibility to make sure that the Department for Work and Pensions knows about this change to your rent so that they can adjust your payment.

From 6 April you need to update your online account with your new rent and service charges. You need to do this within 14 days of your rent changing. This date is on your rent letter.

To do this, log in to your UC online account and in ‘where you live and what it costs’ input the new rent figures given to you in your letter. Then check your journal to confirm that it shows you have done this.

If you forget, do this as soon as possible. If you do not, you risk receiving an incorrect payment and falling behind on your rent.

Online journal link: gov.uk/sign-in-universal-credit

2. Then you’ll need to increase your payments to us. Contact the income team and we’ll help with this income@peaksplains.org or call our Freephone number 0800 012 1311 

No we’ll do this for you and we’ll write sometime in March 2020 to explain how much you pay and when.

Ask your bank to change your standing order (or you can do it yourself if you use online banking). You need to adjust the amount that is sent to us by the frequency that you pay us.

Standing order info

If you have an agreement with your Income Officer to pay an amount off arrears, you will need to add this onto your payments to us.

If you’re unsure what you need to pay, contact your income officer at income@peaksplains.org or call 0800 012 1311

We have set out in our corporate plan what we want to achieve over the next few years. The money we get from rents help us to deliver these plans.

Each year we publish an Annual Review which states very clearly how we have spent your rent and how we are performing against the corporate plan objectives. Our board and our ‘involved tenants’ also look closely at our performance and how well we spend your money.

You can find our corporate documents here.

Absolutely. The reason we are applying the rent increase is so that you will see benefits both within your own home – for things like routine repairs – and across the wider community.

2 March 2020 – You’ll get a letter about the increase from us
6 April 2020 – Your rent will change
6 April 2020 – If you are on Universal Credit you need to tell them about the increase (see above)
6 April 2020 – Your new rent amount is due to be paid

Remember, that your rent is charged each Monday and is due in advance.
Contact us if you want to check how much you should be paying, especially if you are paying 4 weekly or monthly.

We can’t discuss your neighbour’s tenancy with you, of course.

But differences can occur because of tenancy type or the rental history of your home.

Your rent is calculated according to the rules set out in the Direction on the Rent Standard 2019, supported by the policy statement on rents for social housing.

GOV.UK: Direction on the Rent Standard 2019

If you are struggling to pay your rent we want to help.  We have a team that can give you advice on benefits, money management and support you when things change in your life.

Alternatively, there is advice and support available from the local Citizens Advice.

• Visit citizensadvice.org.uk

What does per cent mean?
One per cent (%) is 1 divided by 100. So 2.7% is 2.7 divided by 100.

What is inflation?
By inflation we mean the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI figure was announced by the government on 16 October 2019 and was 1.7%.

You say the actual increase is 2.7% but the increase on my rent statement is only 0.76%. Why the difference?

Good question. Here is an example of how we have worked out your new rent.

Imagine that last year your rent was £100 a week.

Rent calculations

So despite your rent increase being 2.7% it will look like a 0.76% increase.

If you think that your rent has been worked out wrongly email trust@peaksplains.org and a member of the team will be happy to check the maths.

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