Frequently asked questions about your rent review
Updated January 2020
Which properties does this rent increase apply to?
This rent increase 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.
How does Curo work out how much to adjust my rent?
Like all housing associations across England, we are required to set rents in line with government policy.
New government rules apply from April 2020 and your rent will increase by the Consumer Price Index (CPI - a measure of inflation) plus 1%. With CPI at 1.7%, your rent will go up by 2.7% on 1 April 2020. To give you an idea of the likely increase in real terms, 2.7% is roughly £2.70 a week on an average Curo rent.
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.
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 up their rent by the full amount in line with the government's rent setting policy – that is 2.7% in 2020.
Does this same rent increase also apply to service charges?
No, this rent increase 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.
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 Universal Credit?
If you receive Universal Credit and it currently covers your rent in full, then it should change to cover the new charge. If Universal Credit only covers some of your rent, then the full change may not be covered. If you receive Universal Credit you should receive a ‘to do’ action through your Journal to update your new rent charge from April 2020.
IMPORTANT: If you do not receive a ‘to do’ action by the end of your assessment period in April please update the new charge through ‘change of circumstance’ in your Journal. They will then work out how much of the change is covered by Universal Credit and will let you know through your Journal.
Why when I receive rent statements why do I have arrears on my account?
If you make payments at the end of each month, your rent account is likely to be in arrears at some point during the following month.
If you pay your rent weekly, fortnightly, four-weekly or monthly, you need to pay at the start of these periods in full. By paying your rent on time in this way, there will be no arrears shown between payments. There's more information about this here.
When I receive rent statements they show arrears on my account but I pay regularly?
Paying your rent on time means no arrears between payments. If you pay your rent weekly, fortnightly, four-weekly or monthly you need to pay at the start of these periods in full.
Please contact us if you are unable to pay this way – we can discuss a payment plan in affordable instalments.
Where can I get help with paying my rent?
We offer a range of help and financial advice to all our residents. 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 is trained to provide debt and welfare benefit advice. We also have an in-house money advisor and can refer residents directly.
How do I find out about changes to my rent and service charges?
We will write to you with details of changes to your rent and service charges. You can also keep up to date with these changes any time online by creating a MyCuro account if you don’t already have one. Registering is easy. Go to www.curo-group.co.uk/mycuro and have your tenancy number to hand (shown on every rent statement).
For more information, please get in touch with us or click here for details of organisations that may be able to help.