Your rent helps us to improve your home and keep you and your family safe. Last year, we spent £10 million on fire safety works and £6 million on responsive repairs, general maintenance and improving kitchens and bathrooms. It’s amazing what a difference your rent can make to you and your community.
We’ve worked out your new rent using government guidelines. However, we understand it has been a challenging time, especially with the rising cost-of-living. We’re here to help. Our Tenancy Support Officers offer tailored support and advice to help maximise income, and for those experiencing genuine financial difficulty, we also have a dedicated hardship fund.
Your service charges
Your service charges allow us to provide services and communal facilities. With over 3,200 homes and 190 blocks across our communities, we provide lots of different services to ensure your home and neighbourhood is well-maintained; somewhere you’re proud to live.
We have two types of charges: variable and fixed. All our service charges are eligible for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claims.
We do not make a profit from service charges. Your 2022/23 increase is directly linked to the money it costs us to provide the service. Please be assured that we make every effort to keep these charges as affordable as possible.
Unfortunately, we’ve all experienced a significant increase in energy prices, which has had the biggest impact on our communal utilities charge.
Most of our residents pay for their own personal energy usage, which we understand may have also increased. If you’re worried about how you may afford your energy, Citizens Advice can help. It may also be worth looking for a better deal - companies like Green Energy Switch can help you for free!
The reason some residents have experienced a higher percentage increase since 2019, is because of the changes to service charges at that time. An independent review found that we had not been charging residents for some services, such as lift maintenance, fire safety and CCTV. Following a resident consultation, it was agreed that to be fair, everyone would pay for the services they use. To help ensure social residents could afford the additional costs, we have capped these at £3 per week, per year.
Our commitment to you
We recognise that some residents are not happy with the quality of the services they pay for.
Over the next three months we will be reviewing each of our neighbourhood budgets to ensure distribution is being applied in the most accurate and fair way. We will also look for more opportunities to drive value for money, starting with our maintenance and estate services contracts.
We’re working with our residents to find solutions. We’ve listened to what works and what could be better. To speed up the time it takes to provide invoices and evidence of costs, we’re developing our online portal so that residents can easily find this information themselves. We will also involve our residents ahead of budget setting, so that they can input into the costs for the year.
For more information on our rents and service charges, please click here.