About Your Rent
Before you moved into your home, you signed a tenancy agreement. This sets out rights and responsibilities for both you and us. It is a legal document and you should keep it in a safe place.
Incommunities aims to charge rents that are affordable, and it goes towards:
- repairing and improving homes
- managing homes
- helping pay back loans used to modernise old homes and build new ones
Your rent is due every Monday, one week in advance.
Service charges are not the same as rent. They cover the cost of providing services to residents beyond the benefit of occupying their own home. Your tenancy agreement tells you if you have to pay a service charge.
If you don't pay your rent you could lose your home. If you are having difficulty paying your rent, please get in touch by calling 0330 175 9540 straight away. We can help!
HOW IS MY RENT CALCULATED?
We work out the rent that you pay for your home using a method set up by the Government to ensure that homes of a similar age, value and type in the same area will have similar rents.
These rules apply to all our homes but not to private rented homes.
The amount of rent you pay for your home is based on these factors:
Incommunities calculate rents against a method of calculation based on these factors.
- The number of bedrooms in your home
- The average wage in West Yorkshire compared to that of the country as a whole
- How much your home was worth in January 1999
- The national average Housing Association (HA) rent
- The national average Housing Association home value
We base 70% of your rent on the number of bedrooms in your home, the national average HA rent and the average wage in the West Yorkshire area compared to average national earnings.
The other 30% is based on the value of your home compared to the national average HA homes value and the national average HA rent.
It is quite a complicated system but the aim is to ensure fairness to social housing customers across the country.
We look at rent charges each year to make sure they meet Government guidance. Any changes that are required come into effect in April and we will write to you at least 28 days before they happen.
Affordable rents were introduced by the Government to allow Housing Associations to charge up to 80% of the local market rent for the homes we let. These rents may be higher than those we've charged in the past and the extra income we get will be used to help develop new homes for those in housing need.
The rent we charge will be no more than 80% of the market rent value, but may be lower depending on location. This means that homes will remain more affordable than renting privately.
Incommunities will assess the market and calculate what 80% of the market rent (inclusive of service charges will be). This rent will be charged if it makes sense for the business (it is higher than the method of calculation described below) and is affordable for customers in that area (customers can get Housing Benefit and the rent is demonstrably lower than market rent equivalents)
WHEN DO I PAY MY RENT?
You should pay your rent weekly - the rent week starts on a Monday and finishes on Saturday. If you pay your rent fortnightly or monthly you need to pay in advance.
We have to class any money you owe us at the end of the week as debt and will start to send you letters and text messages and attempt to contact you directly by telephone or visit.
Incommunities provide a range of ways for you to pay your rent in order to make the process as simple as possible.
Please contact us straight away if you are having difficulty paying your rent so that we can work with you to find a solution.
PAYING RENT AS A NEW TENANT.
If you are unemployed or on a low income you may be entitled to financial help to pay your rent. To make sure you are getting what you are entitled our specialist Officers will help you at sign-up.
If you receive housing benefit we will expect you to provide all proofs that you are entitled to receive Housing Benefit or you will need to make advance payments before you get your keys You will need to make advance payments of any amount of your rent not covered by Housing benefit; this includes any rent you need to pay yourself because you receive Universal credit.
As housing benefit is paid in arrears we recommend you pay £3.65 per week (£15.87 per month) to gradually bring your account into line in preparation for Universal Credit.
Our team will help you apply for housing benefit and tell you what information you need to make sure the claim is set up .
When you apply you will usually have to show:
- Proof of Income Support and other benefits and/or
- The last five weeks pay slips or the last two months if you are paid monthly
- Your national insurance number
- Proof of your identity (passport or birth certificate)
- Bank or building society statements
- Proof of income or attendance at school/college of anyone else in your household
The above information must be provided when you sign up for your tenancy so that your claim can be processed without delay; otherwise Incommunities will insist you make payments of your rent in advance.
- Regularly check the progress of your claim
- Regular contact with Incommunities will make sure your claim is processed speedily
- Provide any information asked for by the housing benefit office immediately; Incommunities will help you monitor this
- Let the housing benefit office and your Income Officer know straight away of any changes in your finances or household