Rent increases and service charges
February 17th 2021, by Rachel Luney
At the end of February/early March, we will be sending letters out to residents detailing rent increases and explaining service charges. If you have any question that aren’t answered below, please contact your Tenancy Management Officer.
Why is my rent being increased?
In line with your tenancy agreement, we are able to increase the rent once a year – in April. We do this to enable us to be able us to continue providing all the services we deliver such as repairs, compliance checks, tenancy management and planned improvements to sites and individual properties, all of which the costs rise in line with inflation. Last year was the first time in 5 years that we had increased rent and we do try to keep this to a minimum. Any money we receive through rent increases goes back into providing and improving our services for residents.
I am worried about keeping up with my rent, what should I do?
If you have any concerns about paying your rent, please contact us. We have an in house Welfare and Benefits Advisor who can offer some support. You can contact Jane White on JaneW@ccha.biz or call 07384 255630 . If you are receiving Universal Credit or Housing Benefit, you should contact them to let them know about the increase so that your benefits can be reviewed to reflect this. Other things you can consider if you are have financial difficulty are:
- Applying for Discretionary Housing Payment here.
- Use a benefits calculator such as Entitled To, to see if you can maximise your income here.
What are service charges?
Service charges are the costs for maintaining the communal aspects of a property. It is used to cover services such as cleaning, gardening, electric, window cleaning and various other items. On the breakdown you receive there will be a split for ‘service charges eligible for Housing Benefit’ and ‘service charges not eligible for Housing Benefit’. If you have charges which fall into the first category and you are receiving Universal Credit or Housing benefit, you should contact them to advise of this and the increase so this can be reviewed and reflected in the amount you receive.
Why haven’t I received a service charge schedule?
Some residents pay service charges within their rental amount rather than separately and so don’t receive a service charge schedule as the amount is a fixed sum. If you are on an Affordable Rent or London Living Rent, you won’t receive a separate service charge schedule.
There is an item on my service charge schedule I don’t think I should be paying for, what is this?
Our service charges are based on invoices we receive from contractors who are providing these services. We check invoices carefully to ensure they match with what we are expecting to receive and that the costs are attributed to the correct properties.
If you have any questions, please contact your Tenancy Management Officer.