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Social rent tenants - FAQs about 2016/17 rent review

 

 

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

The new government proposal is to reduce your rent charge by 1% every year for the next four years. If your property attracts other charges, these have been stated in the same proposal 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.

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 proposal means that this year rents should decrease by 1% across England, as from April 2016.

The changes are made in accordance with the provisions of your tenancy agreement.

Which properties does this rent decrease apply to?

This rent decrease and the formula explained above 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 guidelines – that is 1%.

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 by the 4th April therefore your contribution may change until this has been updated by your housing benefit provider. They will write to you directly when this has been done.

Will I get help from Universal Credit

If you receive Universal Credit and it currently covers your rent, you need to contact the Universal Credit helpline on 0345 600 0723 to ensure your payments are updated. We do not provide information on your charges automatically.

Will you adjust my direct debit?

We will adjust your direct debit and send you a letter confirming your new payments shortly after you have received this notification. 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 until after 4th April. 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 your claim. If this is going to be difficult for you please contact our Customer Accounts Team on 01225 366000.

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 SWAN (South Wansdyke Advice Network) and can refer residents directly.


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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