A guide to understanding your rent statement

Understanding your rent statement

If you rent a home from Incommunities, you will soon receive a letter about your rent and service charges. For many Incommunities customers, the rent you pay will increase in April 2022, and we want to explain more about the reasons for this and direct you to support available if you are struggling with your outgoings. 

How is the cost of my rent decided?

Social housing rents are set by government legislation.

Between April 2015 and March 2020, social housing landlords such as Incommunities decreased their rents by 1% each year.

Since 1 April 2020, the 2020 Rent Standard allowed social landlords to increase rents every year until March 2025 by 1%, plus the Consumer Price Index (CPI). We are expected by the government to use this formula to calculate our rents.

The relevant CPI figure is taken from the previous September, and in September 2021 the CPI 12 month rate was 3.1%. This means any rent increase will be by a maximum of 4.1% (3.1% CPI, plus 1%).

Overall, the average increase in rent and service charges is £3.18 a week. This is because we have chosen to cap the level of service charge increase.

As a not-for-profit housing association, any surplus from rent and new home sales is reinvested into maintaining homes, delivering new properties and improving our services.

What is a service charge?

Some customers pay a service charge alongside their rent, which covers costs for things like cleaning, fire safety works, communal door entry systems and grounds maintenance.  Our service charges are normally cost neutral.

This year – acknowledging the increased costs of living to everyone – we have agreed to increase the service charge by no more than 3.1%. This is less than the Rent Standard formula explained above, so means the service charge increase is less than it could have been.

I’m worried I won’t be able to pay my rent

If you are concerned about your ability 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:

Will my benefits be impacted?

If you currently receive Housing Benefit, we will notify Housing Benefit services at most local authorities, so it is unlikely you will need to do anything. It will state in your letter if you need to notify the council. 

If you currently receive a housing element of Universal Credit, you will need to update your online journal on or after 4th April 2022.

Making payments

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.

Rent-free weeks

Four non-charge weeks are still available for 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.

Support available

Remember, our colleagues are here to help with any queries you have about your rent and service charges. Please get in touch if you are struggling with any costs.

You can contact us in a variety of ways:

We have also partnered with Better Off to provide detailed information and assistance to our customers around benefits and changes to benefits.

You can also visit the Money Helper website for help, advice and a personalised action plan: