The Government has announced that social and affordable housing rents will rise by the consumer price index (CPI) measure of inflation plus 1% for five years beginning in April 2020.
This will be the first rent increase in four years and will apply to all council and housing association tenants.
It means that SARH will be increasing rents by 2.7% in April 2020.
Here are some examples to give you an idea of what that could mean for you:
|Example 1 – One-bedroom home||Example 2 – Three bedroom home|
|New rent from April 2020||£102.70||£410.80||£127.55||£554.24|
|Difference||£2.70 per week||£10.80 per month||£3.35 per week||£14.56 per month|
These are just examples. We will write to you in February confirming exactly what your new rent will be from April 2020, along with any service charges payable.
At SARH we are committed to making a positive difference to homes, lives and communities. We do this by investing in homes and services.
Rent and service charges
You can find more information about rent and service charges below.
Investing your rent in homes and services
We are here for people, not for profit. So the rent that you pay goes back into providing services, carrying out repairs, improving homes and providing additional housing.
• We completed 100% of emergency repairs within 24 hours
• We fitted 172 new kitchens
• We installed 163 new bathrooms
• Our Money Advice Service helped customers save £729k
Further help and advice
If you are concerned about paying your rent and would like some advice on claiming benefits or managing your money please visit our Get Advice page.
Rent is a regular payment covering the cost of providing, managing and looking after your home.
Your rent pays for these services:
- Repairs, maintenance and buildings insurance for homes
- Investment in home improvement
- Neighbourhood management and tenancy sustainment
- Customer and community support
What are social and affordable rent?
As a not-for-profit landlord, most of our homes are available at social or affordable rents, which will be lower than the rent for similar privately rented properties.
These rents are set by the government. They can be charged weekly or monthly and are reviewed annually.
We write to customers during February, with an individual review for each tenancy account. Rent changes take place in April each year.
How is your rent calculated?
Rent is based on:
- The value of your home
- Number of bedrooms
- Average earnings in the area
- Location of the property
The government has announced that social rents will increase by a maximum of 1% above inflation for the next five years, beginning in April 2020.
Social and affordable rents are calculated using a standard formula, which is why you will sometimes hear this kind of tenancy called ‘formula rent’.
Current rent + Inflation (Consumer Price Index) + 1% = New rent
Some tenancies include service charges. Any service charges are shown in the rent schedule that you receive each February.
A service charge is a payment towards the cost of communal areas and services outside your home. We do not make any profit from service charges and you only pay for the services you receive.
These are examples of some shared services which are covered by these charges:
- Employing a caretaker
- Cleaning shared areas and removing rubbish
- Looking after communal gardens including cutting the grass
- Repairing shared facilities like door entry systems, lifts and lighting
- Fire safety including repairing and testing smoke alarms in entry areas, stairways and corridors
Where we provide a service that is shared by a number of customers, the amount that we charge is the total cost of that service divided by the number of tenants who benefit from it.
Cost of providing the service ÷ Number of customers = Service charge
If a service includes particular equipment, charges are based on the actual cost of providing the service, plus a charge towards the cost of replacing that equipment in the future. This means that we don’t have to pass on unexpectedly big bills to customers in a particular year.
Paying your rent
We offer different ways to pay your rent, so that you can choose the option that works best for you.
Direct Debit is a convenient way to pay. You can set up a Direct Debit by calling us on 0800 111 4554. Payments are adjusted automatically if your rent amount changes, you don’t need to do anything.
You can use SARH online on your mobile, tablet or PC at sarhomes.wpengine.com to pay your rent, check your balance and download past statements 24:7. Register through our website to pay your rent quickly and easily.
Set up a Standing Order with your bank. You will need to adjust the payment if your rent amount changes.
Over the Phone
Pay your rent by phone. Call us on 0800 111 4554. We accept most major credit and debit cards.
Cash and card payments can be made in our Reception at Parker Court during office opening hours.
Send a cheque payment to us at SARH, Parker Court, Staffordshire Technology Park, Beaconside, Stafford ST18 0WP
If you are finding it difficult to pay your rent now, or you think that you may struggle to pay your new rent and service charges, talk to our money advisers now by calling 0800 111 4554 or visit the Get Advice page.
Housing Benefit and Universal Credit
If you are on a low income, you could be eligible for Housing Benefit or Universal Credit to help to pay your rent.
- Housing Benefit or Universal Credit can pay all or part of your rent
- The amount that you receive depends on your income and individual circumstances
- You don’t have to be unemployed to apply for Housing Benefit or Universal Credit
- It is your responsibility to claim benefits to help you to pay your rent but if you are not sure whether you are eligible, contact our Money Advice team on 0800 111 4554.
When your rent changes
If you receive Housing Benefit, you don’t need to do anything.
If you receive Universal Credit, you should update your to-do list in your journal. You can do this as of April 2020.
Payments made by Housing Benefit or by the DWP will be made in arrears. Your rent is payable in advance and it is your responsibility to make sure that it is paid on time. If your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit is reduced, you will need to cover any shortfall.
Your home is at risk if your account is in arrears. If you are struggling financially, talk to us, we may be able to help. Contact us as soon as you are in difficulty.
Call 0800 111 4554 to speak to a member of our Money Advice team.
Find more advice about benefits here: sarhomes.wpengine.com/sarh-customers/get-advice/
For more information about Housing Benefit: www.gov.uk/housing-benefit
For more information about Universal Credit: www.gov.uk/universal-credit