Rent and Service Charge increase 2021-22

From 1 April 2021 your rent will be increased in line with government policy, and we want to tell you more about this in advance of your formal notification.

Government policy allows rents to be increased by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) + 1%.  CPI is a national measure that is calculated by taking price changes for certain goods and services and averaging them.  The CPI rate used is from September of the previous year, in this instance September 2020.

CPI for September 2020 was 0.5% which means rents can be increased by 1.5% for the year commencing 1 April 2021.

Rent is our primary source of income and enables us to deliver a good level of investment and service. However, to maintain this and do more for our tenants, rental growth is necessary.

All the income we receive from rents is reinvested in existing homes and services and in providing much needed new homes across the North East.  The last year has certainly proved how important a good quality home is.

We need to keep investing to make sure homes remain well maintained and safe and become more energy efficient.  More new homes are desperately needed, and we have plans to provide over 600 homes by 2023.

First and foremost we are committed to making sure the rent you pay remains affordable now and into the future. Before any decision is made on rent increases detailed research is undertaken. This involves comparing our rents to those charged across the region in the private and social sectors and assessing whether our rent levels result in people spending more than 33% of their income on rent. This is identified as an indicator of affordability by the Affordable Housing Commission.

This year the results of the research again show that our rents remain below market rents, continue to compare favourably to other social landlords across the region and are below the Affordable Housing Commission ratio of 33% rent to income.

With this robust evidence we have the assurance rents will remain affordable with an increase of 1.5%. Therefore, the CPI + 1% increase will be applied from 1 April 2021.

ln terms of money this means that the average rent of £77.20 charged in 20/21 will increase to £78.35 from 1 April 2021.

Our rents remain fully eligible for housing benefit and the housing cost element of Universal Credit.  We offer a number of ways to pay and advice and support is available when help is needed.

Very soon you will receive your formal rent increase notification, this will set out your new rent and charges from April 2021.  This year we’ve worked with our involved tenants to produce an improved notification that includes a lot more information about the help available and how rent is spent.

Please read your notification carefully and make sure you inform any organisations who need to know about the changes

 If you’re concerned about the rent increase and would like some advice on claiming benefits or managing your money, please call us on 0344 800 3800.