Your new rent and service charge booklets will soon arrive. They explain what the new charges will be for your home and the services you receive from us next year, and how we calculate them.
For the first time in four years, your rent charges are increasing, and we felt it was important to explain why.
How are rents calculated?
The formula we use for calculating your rent is set and regulated each year by the Government.
Why has our rent gone up this year?
For the last four years, the Government told housing associations and local councils to cut their social housing rents by 1% every year. This means your rent has been 1% lower each year.
From this year however, after consulting housing landlords and residents, the Government has allowed landlords to increase their social housing rent.
The formula it uses to calculate the increase is based on the consumer price index (CPI) for September 2019, which is 1.7% + 1%. (The CPI is based on the average price of shopping and other services, such as transport, food and medical care).
This means that the rent most residents pay will increase this year by 2.7%.
As an example, a resident living in what we call a ‘general needs’ home (a house or flat with basic services, not an extra care or independent living home), pays an average weekly rent of £86.31. Adding 2.7% would mean a weekly increase of £2.33. So the new weekly rent would be £88.64 each week.
This is just an average calculation. Your actual rent will depend on the type of home you live in and where you live.
If you receive services for your home, such as cleaning or gardening services, and pay a service or amenity charge, that will also change in line with our costs for providing these services.
If you are a homeowner, your rent is based on the terms of your lease. It falls outside this formula.
What will we do with the extra money collected?
The Government has said that it believes "the proposal strikes the right balance between the interests of existing social housing tenants who pay some or all of their own rent, the need to build more homes, and the importance of ensuring that housing providers have sufficient income with which to manage and maintain their properties.”
What the Government is saying is that it wants housing providers to have enough money to build more new homes to respond to our country’s housing crisis, and have enough money to invest in the homes they already provide to make sure they are good quality, safe and comfortable for the residents who live in them.
The Government is allowing us to apply this rent increase, but it is not telling to to. We have decided to apply it because, as a housing association with charitable status, any surplus we make from rent and other income is reinvested back into our homes and services. The extra income we make from this year's rent increase will help us to build our target 500 new homes each year, and invest in, and improve, our repairs and maintenance programme to make sure our homes are of the standard of quality you have a right to expect them to be. The increase will also help us look at new ways of continually improving all our services to make sure you get the best experience living in an Accent home.
We hope this answers any questions you may have about your rent and service charge increases but if you want to talk to us, login into your ‘MyAccount’ and send us a message or ring us on 0345 678 0555.
If you have any worries about paying the extra rent, or your rent in general, please contact us. Our income team is here to help anyone who may need it and you can talk to your customer partner. You can find out who your customer partner is here.