Rent Increase April 2022 - FAQs
How much will rents be increased by and from when?
Your rent will increase by 4.1% starting from Monday 4th April 2022.
I’m not happy about my rent increase. Please can you remove it?
Unfortunately, we aren’t able to remove the rent increase.
Why has my rent gone up?
As a Housing Association we follow Government guidance and regulation when we increase rents. We are allowed to increase rents by a maximum of the rate of inflation for September plus 1%. Inflation in September 2021 was at 3.1%.
The additional 1% is to help landlords develop more new affordable housing.
We recognise that our customers are facing challenges with increases in fuel, food and household bills and the changes to the benefit system taking place. We are here to support customers and can do this in a variety of ways – please see section below on accessing support.
How is rent decided?
Rent levels for social housing are guided by the Government. The Government changed its rent policy from April 2020. This allows housing associations to increase rents by a maximum of the rate of inflation for September plus 1%. To calculate this we use the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI figure in September 2021 was 3.1%.
The additional 1% on top of inflation is intended by Government to enable landlords to develop more new affordable housing.
Further information on the Rent Standard can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rent-standard/rent-standard-april-2020
What do I get for my service charge?
Service charges are not governed by the same formula as rents. Any charges we make for services are based on the actual cost of providing the service. Some costs are increasing considerably and as a result, this year we have chosen to limit the increase to service charges to no more than 3.1%.
We may choose to recover any costs not charged in 2022/23 in future years, whilst continuing to avoid any large increases to service charges where possible. We will communicate this to you in early 2023.
Some customers pay a service charge alongside their rent. Services covered by service charges could include:
• Cleaning communal areas and removing dumped rubbish
• Cutting communal grassed areas, looking after planted areas and tree maintenance
• Repairs to communal facilities such as door entry systems, lifts, television aerials and lighting
• Providing fire fighting equipment, including repairing and testing emergency lighting and smoke alarms
• Providing water, electricity and gas supplies to communal areas
How can I get support?
Our priority is to support our customers to sustain your tenancy.
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 website for details: www.incommunities.co.uk/money-matters
In addition, it is also possible for us to connect you to specialist services and grants you may be able to access.
You can access independent money advice with:
I’m worried I won’t be able to pay my rent
If you are concerned about being able to pay rent or service charges, please talk to us as soon as you can.
We are here to help and available to support with:
- Payment plans
- Identifying benefits you may be entitled to
- Budgeting support
- Debt management
- Putting you in touch with organisations and charities who can provide support and resources
You can contact us in a variety of ways:
- Call: 0330 175 9540
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Use Live Chat: www.incommunities.co.uk
- Use this online form to get in touch with our Money Matters team: www.incommunities.co.uk/money-matters
Will my benefits be impacted?
We will notify Bradford Council’s Housing Benefit Service of your new rent and service charges, so if you receive Housing Benefit you do not need to do anything about your rent increase.
If you live in an area outside of Bradford, you will need to notify your local Housing Benefit service of your new rent and service charge. You should check your future rent statements to make sure you are receiving the correct benefit onto your rent account.
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 4th April 2022. You will need to log in and make sure that your landlord is Incommunities Ltd and that you input your new rent payment amount.
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 as listed above.
What are the rent-free weeks?
Four non-charge weeks are still available for some customers who are up to date with their rent payments. These are:
- Monday 18th April 2022 (Easter)
- Monday 29th August 2022 (Summer Bank Holiday)
- Monday 19th December 2022 (Christmas period)
- Monday 26th December 2022 (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.