Our rents are set by the government who announced in 2019 that social rents would increase for the next 5 years, starting in April 2020.
This annual rent increase applies to all registered social housing providers which means that SARH will be increasing rents in April 2021.
We wrote to you in February confirming exactly what your new rent will be from 1 April 2021, along with any service charges payable. Further information about service charges can be found below.
We are here for people, not for profit and are committed to making a positive difference to homes, lives and communities.
We do this by investing in homes and services, so the rent you pay goes back into providing essential services, carrying out repairs, improving homes and building additional housing.
Some tenancies include service charges. Any service charges are shown in the rent schedule 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 of the 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 some 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.
This year, it has been necessary to increase our service charges for fire safety. This is due to the introduction of new Fire Safety Regulations in communal areas following the Grenfell tragedy. The increased service charges will be used for a new fire door inspection programme to comply with the updated regulations plus the increased number and complexity of mandatory checks for firefighting equipment and fire alarms.
Further help and advice
If you are worried about paying your rent, please Talk to us. We are here to listen and support you by offering money, benefit and employment advice.
By working together, we can try to ensure that you don’t fall into rent arrears and risk losing your home.
Please go to our Talk to us page to find out more.
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 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 from 1 April each year.
How is your rent calculated?
Social and affordable rents are calculated using a standard formula, which is why you will sometimes hear this kind of tenancy called ‘formula rent’.
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 on 1 April 2020.
How can I pay my rent?
We offer different ways to pay your rent, so that you can choose the option that works best for you.
For ways to pay your rent, please see our payment options 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 Employment and Money Advice team.
When your rent changes
If you receive Housing Benefit
The Housing Benefit Office has been notified of the new rental charge for 2021/2022 and will re-calculate your housing benefit entitlement from April 2021. If you currently receive Housing Benefit and your circumstances have not changed, you need take no further action.
If you receive Universal Credit
You should forward your rent review notice to the DWP
and update your journal.
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 cut, 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.