Just like you do every year, in Feburary you’ll be getting a letter explaining your rent and/or service charges for the next year – boo! Some customers may notice a slight increase in their rent. You might remember that we wrote to you last year about rent increases but we thought it would be helpful to explain it again.
As a Housing Association, Abri follows the government’s Rent Standard
In October 2017 the government announced a new Rent Standard to start in April 2020. The new rent standard explains to housing associations how they should set their rents.
Last year Abri decided to apply the full amount to help us improve our homes and services
The Rent Standard says that rents will have an increase of up to CPI+1% for at least five years. CPI is the Consumer Price Index, which measures the average change in the price of goods and services over time.
Last year, Abri made the decision to apply the full CPI+1% to all eligible tenancies to make sure that it was fair for everyone. We also made this decision so that we’d have the financial certainty to improve our existing homes, build new homes and deliver great customer services.
You’ll soon get a letter with all the changes
Just like you do every year, in February you’ll get a letter that explains all of this and what your new rent and service charges (if you pay them) will be. There are a few things for you to do once you get this letter.
If you claim Universal Credit you will need to tell them after 5 April 2021
If you claim Universal Credit you will need to tell them about the rent change. To do this, log into your Universal Credit account and report this as a change of circumstances. You’ll need to enter the new weekly rent, the new weekly service charge and that there are four rent free weeks.
You will not be able to update your Universal Credit account until 5 April 2021 so please set yourself a reminder.
If you receive housing benefits that are paid directly to Abri, you don’t need to do anything
If you receive housing benefits which get paid directly to Abri, you don’t need to do anything. We will tell the local council that the rent has changed. You’ll then receive a notification from your local council confirming that they are aware of the new rent charge and any changes that have been made to your housing benefits.
If you receive housing benefits that get paid to you, you’ll need to tell your local council
If you receive housing benefits which are paid to you, you will need to tell your local council about the new rent and service charges. They will need to see a copy of your letter.
Please make sure you tell them about your new rent details immediately. Your rent is due for 48 weeks and you must tell them that there are four rent free weeks so that you get the correct amount of housing benefits between April 2021 and April 2022.
If you pay by Direct Debit, you don’t need to do anything
If you pay your rent and service charges by Direct Debit, you don’t need to do anything. You will be told of the revised amount you will pay at least five working days before it’s due.
Your rent money is used for a lot of different things
We’re a not-for-profit organisation so we don’t get any profit from the money we get through things like rent and service charges. All of this is used to:
- Manage and maintain our existing comes
- Deliver services
- Invest in our communities, projects and initiatives to support our customers
- Build more homes
Rent changes are not related to the change in our name or the partnership
The change in rents is all to do with the new Rent Standard that the government announced in 2017 and is not to do with us changing our name last year or because Radian and Yarlington partnered.
The new rent standard explains to housing associations how they should set their rents and says that rents will have an increase of up to CPI+1% for at least five years. Last year, Abri made the decision to apply the full CPI+1% to all eligible tenancies to make sure that it was fair for everyone. We also made this decision so that we’d have the financial certainty to improve our existing homes, build new homes and deliver great customer services.
Please contact us if you have any questions – we’re here to help
If you have any questions about you rent or have any concerns about paying, please tell us, we’re here to help.
There are several ways you can contact our customer service team:
- Use live chat on the portal
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: 01935 404500