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FAQs about your rent review

 

 

Will you adjust my direct debit automatically?

We will adjust your direct debit and send you a letter confirming your new payments shortly after you have received your rent review letter. If you receive some housing benefit or Universal Credit it is likely that your entitlement will not be updated by the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) or your local authority straight away. Therefore your direct debit will be based on your current claim. We will adjust this again when we have received notification from you, the DWP or local authority of any change to Housing Benefit or Universal Credit entitlement. If this is going to be difficult for you or at any time you feel that your direct debit is collecting the incorrect amount please contact our Customer Accounts Team on 01225 366000.

Will I get help from Housing Benefit?

If you receive Housing Benefit and it currently covers your rent in full, then it should change automatically to cover the new charge. If Housing Benefit only covers some of your rent, then the full change may not be covered. If you receive Housing Benefit we will automatically tell your local authority about your rent decrease. They will then work out how much of the change is covered by Housing Benefit and will contact you to let you know. The local authority may not change your entitlement straight away, therefore your contribution may not change until this has been updated by your housing benefit provider. They will write to you directly when this has been done.

How does Curo work out how much to adjust my rent?

Like all housing associations across England, we are required to set and decrease rents in line with government policy. The current policy (which applies until 2020) means that this year rents should decrease by 1% across England, as from your annual review date. The changes are made in accordance with the provisions of your tenancy agreement. Our 'How we  set your rent' leaflet on this page explains the process in more details.

Why hasn't my entire weekly charge gone down by 1% as the Government has stated?

If your property attracts other charges, these have been stated by the Government as being outside of the 1% decrease. This means although your rent charge has come down, other charges haven’t so will affect your overall total.

Which properties does this rent decrease apply to?

This rent decrease and the formula in our leaflet applies to homes let on what are known as ‘social rent’ tenancies. The same formula does not apply to homes provided through schemes like shared ownership, rent-to-buy and market rent.

Does this same rent decrease also apply to service charges?

No, this rent decrease does not apply to service charges in the same way. Increases in service charges are made when the cost of providing the service has increased. Your personal letter explains any changes that have been made to your service charges and how this has been calculated. This change is in accordance with the terms of your particular tenancy agreement.

What are other housing associations doing?

All housing associations need to comply with the Government’s rent setting formula. This means that most housing associations and local authorities across the UK will be putting down their rent by the full amount in line with the government's rent setting policy – that is 1%.

Where can I get help with paying my rent?

We can offer a range of help and financial advice to all our residents, especially those struggling during the current economic climate. If you are facing debt or rent arrears, please do not be tempted to approach a loan shark or take a pay-day loan.

Contact us instead as soon as possible – the earlier you speak to us, the more we can help.

Our Customer Accounts Team is experienced in helping our residents manage their rent accounts and trained to provide debt and welfare benefit advice. We also work with the Citizens Advice Bureau and can refer residents directly.

Why am I being charged for 53 weeks’ rent this year (2019/20)?

Curo charges rents weekly, with rent charged every Monday. Usually, there are 52 Mondays in the year so you pay rent 52 times each year. This year there are 53 Mondays so tenants will be charged rent 53 times. This happens every six years because there aren’t exactly 52 weeks the 365-day year.

Is Curo charging me more than it should this year (2019/20)?

Curo is not over-charging. In a ‘usual’ year with 52 Mondays tenants will be paying slightly less than a 365 days’ worth of rent. Every six years, this shortfall of days balances out.

I pay rent 48 weeks of the year. Am I also affected?

If you have a 48-week tenancy and are a Universal Credit customer this will also affect you, as you will only be paid Universal Credit for 47 weeks not 48.

I receive Universal Credit - why isn’t my Universal Credit enough to cover this?

If you claim Universal Credit, which is paid monthly not weekly, you get the equivalent of 52 weeks rent paid to you, not 53. That is a decision that the Government has made. Curo and other social landlords have lobbied hard over the last two years for this to be amended but currently the Government has no plans to change this policy.

I receive Universal Credit - can you help me cover this shortfall?

If you pay your rent monthly by Direct Debit or another payment method we will adjust your payment to ensure that at then end of the year you will have paid enough. You will see that the calculation of your monthly rent does not match your housing costs calculated by Universal Credit. If you would to discuss this further with us please contact your Account Manager or one of our UC Advisors on 01225 36600. We would be happy to try and support you where possible.


For more information, please get in touch with us or click here for details of these and more organisations that may be able to offer help.

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