Rent - frequently asked questions

We recently wrote to all our customers to let you know about the difficult decision we have taken to increase rents from 1st April 2024.

We understand that these may be difficult times for many people. Our Money Matters team is available to help you avoid falling behind with your rent and help with other debts.

They can also offer support with benefits, bills and help with heating, energy top-ups and shopping. If you have had a change in your pay or benefits, please get in touch with us. The team can let you know of any benefits that you may be able to claim and help you make a claim if you are entitled. 

This service is FREE and confidential, call 0330 175 9540 to speak to a member of the team. 
If you need support, we urge you to get in-touch. Please don’t wait for your situation to get worse. 

We have prepared a list of frequently asked questions about rent, but if you can’t find an answer to your question, just give us a call on 0330 175 9540

Q. How much will rents be increased by and from when?

Following Government guidance, rents will increase by a maximum of 7.7% starting from Monday 1st April 2024.

Q. I’m not happy about my rent increase. Please can you remove it?

Unfortunately, we are not able to remove the rent increase, as it will cover the increase in costs that we have to meet.

We can offer support for customers who are struggling to meet rising costs, perhaps need help with claiming benefits, or help with heating, energy top-ups and shopping. Please call 0330 175 9540 and ask for the Money Matters team.

Q. Why has my rent gone up?

As we’re a Housing Association, we follow Government guidance and regulation when we increase rents. The rent increase for 2024/25 has been set by the Government at 7.7%.

We recognise that our customers are facing challenges with increases in fuel, food and household bills. We are here to support customers and can do this in a variety of ways – please see section below on accessing support.

As a not-for-profit organisation, we have seen the average cost to maintain a home increase by 41% over the last three years; whilst our income has only increased by 12% over the same period. These cost increases include delivering repairs, maintenance, the cost of materials, supplies and labour.

As your landlord, we want to provide you with safe, well-maintained homes and communities that you are proud to live in.

We also invest in the safety and servicing of homes. This year, we’re investing more in energy efficiencies to meet Government targets to cut carbon emissions and to make homes more efficient to run.

Q. How is rent decided?

Rent levels for social housing are guided by the Government. Further information on the Rent Standard can be found here:

Q. How can I get support?

Our priority is to support you, our customer, so that you can continue to live in your home.

If you’re concerned about money or having difficulty paying your rent, please let us know as soon as possible.

Our Money Matters team can provide you with guidance and help on maximising your income and claiming benefits. This service is free and confidential. See our Money Matters page for details.

We can also connect you to specialist services and grants you may be able to access.

Q. Where can I access independent money advice?:

Q. I’m worried I won’t be able to pay my rent, what should I do?

If you are concerned about being able to pay rent or service charges, please talk to us as soon as you can.

We’re here to help and available to support with:

  • Payment plans
  • Identifying any benefits you may be entitled to
  • Budgeting support
  • Debt management
  • Putting you in touch with organisations and charities who can provide support and resources
  • Practical help with the cost of food and energy bills

You can contact us in a variety of ways:

Q. Will my benefits be impacted?

We will notify the Housing Benefit Service of your new rent charges, so if you receive Housing Benefit you do not need to do anything about your rent increase.

However, you should check your future rent statements to make sure you are receiving the correct benefit onto your rent account.

Q. How do I update my Universal Credit journal?

If you currently receive a housing element of Universal Credit, you will need to update your online journal on or after 1st April 2024. You will need to log in and make sure that your landlord is Incommunities Ltd and that you input your new rent payment amount.

Q. Direct Debits

If you pay your rent by Direct Debit, you will receive a letter which informs you of the new amount to be taken. You do not need to do anything to change this amount. If you would like to set up a Direct Debit, please get in touch with our team using the contact details above.

Q. What are the non-charge weeks?

Depending on your tenancy agreement and if you’re up to date with your rent, there are four weeks in the year when you have a break from paying your rent. You still pay 52 weeks of rent, but the payments are made over 48 instalments. These are weeks: 

  • Monday, 1st April 2024 (Easter) 
  • Monday, 26th August 2024 (Summer Bank Holiday) 
  • Monday, 23rd December 2024 (Christmas period) 
  • Monday, 30th December 2024 (Christmas period) 

If you are in arrears with your rent, you will still be expected to pay rent during these weeks to help bring your rent account up to date.