Our 2022/23 rents & service charges explained
We've created the below document to help explain your new rent and service charges, and to outline our commitment to improve what we do.
We've worked out our new rent using government guidelines, but if you have any questions or would like some support, just give us a call. We understand it has been a challenging time, especially with the rising cost-of-living. We’re here to help.
Ways to pay
Direct Debit is the easiest and most convenient way to pay. You can easily set up a Direct Debit on My Corner, or download and complete our DD Application Form [pdf] . Please return your completed form via email: email@example.com or post: Income Team, THCH, 285 Commercial Road, London, E1 2PS
My Corner is our resident hub - it's a free, safe, and secure online service that can be used anytime, anywhere to view and manage your rent and service charge account.
You can pay your rent over the phone 24/7; just call 020 7780 3070. If you want to pay with a Debit or Credit Card, you'll need your AllPay card with your unique reference number.
You can pay your rent online, by text message or on a mobile app using Allpay. If you using it for the first time, you'll need to register and enter Payment Reference Number (PRN). Your Payment Reference Number is the long 19 digit number on your THCH Payment Card.
If you need a replacement Payment Card – please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a replacement card (5 – 10 working days to arrive)
Pay at Shops
You can use your THCH Payment Card to your local PayPoint or Post Office.
How has my rent been calculated?
We provide homes for social and affordable rent, typically 50-80% of market rent
Every year, we review the amount of rent we charge based on government guidelines. Your rent pays for your home, its repairs and improvements. We set our rents so that:
- People on a lower income can afford them
- We can invest back into our homes and communities
- We meet housing law and the requirements of the Regulator of Social Housing
Request a rent refund
Getting a refund
You can ask for a rent refund if you’ve paid too much rent or if you are a former resident with a credit balance. It may take up to six weeks for your refund to complete.
Before we can begin processing the request, we must check that you do not owe any other monies to THCH, and check with Tower Hamlets Revenues & Benefits Section to make sure there have been no over-payments.
Housing Benefit and Universal Credit are paid to us in arrears - if you are in receipt of one of these benefits we will retain a credit of a month's gross rent on your account.
If you are not in receipt of Housing Benefit or Universal Credit we will retain a week, two weeks or a months credit on your account, based on your payment pattern and in accordance with your Tenancy Agreement.
If you do not pay by Direct Debit we will need to contact you to make an appointment to verify your ID and bank details.
Download our Refund Request Application Form then complete it and return it to us at: email@example.com. As long as there are no issues, we will be able to go ahead and process your refund.
Your service charge goes directly towards the cost to deliver communal and shared services to your building, and in some cases, surrounding estate. The charge is separate to your rent, which goes towards providing, managing, and maintaining your home.
We do not make a profit from service charges, but do charge a management fee for the cost of managing the delivery of these services.
How do you work out my annual service charge?
We look at what services are provided to each building and estate; residents are then charged for the services that benefit them.
As we don’t know all the costs in advance, we base your charge on an estimate of how much services are going to cost over a 12 month period and where possible, include any upcoming one off charges.
We use the previous year’s costs to help prepare the estimate for the coming year. We have no control over charges such as VAT, or other external costs, so we can only anticipate what they are likely to be.
We understand life isn’t always straightforward and sometimes things don’t always go to plan. If you're struggling to afford your rent and service charges, then please let us know as soon as you can. We can help.
Why has the service charge increased when services stay the same?
Your increase is an estimate based on how much the service cost us the year before, as well any planned improvement works for the next 12 months. Prices may also go up in line with market values and contract costs.
What is a fixed service charge?
A fixed service charge is a sector-wide recognised method for setting service charges for general needs residents (non-homeowners). We estimate how much the service will cost and then split this between individual homes. Once the charge has been set, any variation between the actual cost and estimated cost is absorbed by THCH.
Leaseholders pay a variable charge, which means they receive an estimate in April and the actual costs in September. Leaseholders pay 100% of the cost to deliver the service. Find out more information in the 'Service charges for leaseholders' heading below.
How do you monitor the level of service?
We make regular visits to our estates to make sure the level and quality of services are of a good standard. We encourage residents to get involved in and help us monitor these standards too.
What is the management charge for?
The management charge covers the costs we incur as a landlord in managing service charge accounts and other costs associated with managing your estate/block and account. The management charge is set at 15% of the total cost of services.
Why am I paying for fire safety equipment and emergency lighting?
The payment for fire safety equipment and emergency lighting is for the maintenance and the annual contract for servicing items such as fire alarm panels, automatic opening vents, and emergency lighting. These assist in the prevention and early detection of a fire and aid in your escape in the event of an emergency.
Does THCH make a profit from service charges?
We make no profit from service charges; they simply cover the cost of providing and managing your services.