Changes to your rent from April 2022

Every year our tenants get a rent letter explaining any changes. This April, your rent will go up by 4.1%. Here's everything you need to know and some useful links for help and support. Above all speak to us if you need any further advice.

This year’s rent increase will be 4.1%. This will be from 4 April 2022.

We have given the rent increase a lot of thought and discussed it with our Board and involved customers.

The amount we charge is, in part, set by the government. They decided that all housing associations can increase rents by the rate of inflation (3.1%) plus 1 percent.

3.1% + 1% = 4.1%

This increase is essential for us to continue to manage and maintain homes and invest in and support neighbourhoods.

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. Like everyone else, we are facing increasing costs for materials and energy – unplanned-for costs that are out of our hands.

Strategic Plan.

Your new rent will be in your letter. Here are some examples to give you an idea of how much this percentage increase can really mean.

Our lowest rent is a social rent of £66.21 per week, which would increase by £2.71 to £68.92.

This is for a bungalow in Macclesfield.

The highest rent we charge at the moment is £220 per week, which would increase by £9.02 to £229.02 for a 3-bedroom affordable rent house in Knutsford.

  • 4 March 2022 – You’ll get a letter about the increase from us
  • 4 April 2022 – Your rent will change
  • 4 April 2022 – If you are on Universal Credit you need to tell them about the increase (see above)
  • 4 April 2022 – 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.

If you are struggling to pay your rent or your other bills we want to help. Often, we find the earlier people seek support the better. 

We have a team of skilled staff that can give you advice on benefits, money management and support you when things change in your life. We are experienced at finding practical solutions for our tenants to support them with arrears or debt.

Here are some of our partners and bit about how they can help too.

Training, learning and work

Our staff can help you to apply for Employment Support Programmes like New Leaf and Springboard, which aim to help you get on with training, education and/ or work.

Email trust@peaksplains.org and asked to be referred to these Employment Support Programmes.

Help with your energy bills

LEAP is a free service that is helping people keep warm and reduce their energy bills without costing them any money. See how you can save.

• Visit www.applyforleap.org.uk
• Freephone 0800 060 7567
• Email support@applyforleap.org.uk

Help with Council Tax

Cheshire East can help with Council Tax Support (CTS) gives you a reduction on your Council Tax bill if you are on a low income. You will get a revised Council Tax bill with a reduced balance.

High Peak Council can help you to understand if you are eligible for ‘council tax reduction’.

Cheshire West has online information about its Council Tax reduction scheme.

Check your benefits

Entitledto is an independent online benefit calculator that helps people to work out what they can claim from national and local government.

Visit: entitledto.co.uk

Budget planning

• Money Helper is a free online budget planning tool.
Visit: www.moneyhelper.org.uk/en/everyday-money/budgeting/budget-planner

• They can also help you to manage your debt.
Visit: www.moneyhelper.org.uk/en/money-troubles/dealing-with-debt

Your health and wellbeing

The Disability Information Bureau
Age UK Cheshire East
• NHS: Coping with financial worries

If you are in a rented property (not Shared Ownership) your service charges will increase.

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

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

It probably looks a bit longer.

We have introduced some new headings to explain your service charges in more detail.

The items in your rent letter might include things like communal cleaning, fire risk assessments and wastewater treatment - depending on where you live.

Just because this list looks longer your overall service charge will not have increased by more than the annual rent increase percentage.

No, we will let Housing Benefit know your new rent.

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. We can’t do that for you.

  • From 4 April you need to update your online account with your new rent and service charges.
  • You will also need to note that there are 4 non-charging weeks.
  • You need to do this within 14 days of your rent changing. This date is on your rent letter.


How to do this:

1. Log in to your UC online account.

The DWP will add a ‘Confirm your housing costs’ to-do request.

You will be asked to complete the ‘to-do’ by the end of your assessment period to ensure that you get the correct housing payment.

Screenshot of UC website asking about any changes to your rent in April 2022

Screenshot of UC website asking about any changes to your rent in April 2022

Screenshot of UC website asking about any changes to your service charges in April 2022

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 update your account, you risk receiving an incorrect payment and falling behind on your rent.

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 to you to confirm your payment schedule for the next 12 months.

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.

Frequency - your new weekly rent amount

  • Fortnightly - 2 x your new weekly rent
  • 4 weekly -  4 x your new weekly rent
  • Monthly - 48 x your new weekly rent divided by 12 monthly payments

If you have an agreement with your Income Officer to pay an amount off arrears, you will need to add this on to 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

If you pay monthly, you can pay the same each month by using the following calculation:

Rent X 48 charging weeks, divided by 12 months – this will give you the amount you need to pay each month.

The non-charging weeks are taken into account already using this calculation.

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

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.

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.

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 2020, supported by the policy statement on rents for social housing.

GOV.UK: Direction on the Rent Standard 2020

 

What does per cent mean?
One per cent (%) is 1 divided by 100. So 4.1% is 4.1 divided by 100.

What is inflation?
By inflation we mean the September Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI figure was announced by the government and was 3.1%.

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