Changes to your rent 2022/23

If you are a tenant, from April your rent will be increasing. The headline increase for most of our tenants will be 4.1% which is in line with the Government Rent Standard which allows rent increases of Consumer Price Index (CPI) +1%. CPI is a common measure of inflation. Depending on the type of tenancy you hold with us, this increase will either be inclusive or exclusive of service charges.

We understand that this rent increase has come at a very challenging time with prices rising in many other areas. Careful consideration is taken when approving rent increases by our Board. This decision involves direct input from residents who sit on our Board as Board Members. 

We are determined to offer homes that our customers are proud of as well as good value for money. This price increase will help us achieve this by allowing us to reinvest in our current homes, build new homes and to invest in the communities that we serve.

Please get in touch, 020 8996 4200, if you have any questions that are not answered here.

Our Income Team, income.team@sbhg.co.uk, are available to provide support if you have any affordability or money worries.

We also offer a range of initiatives that can be found in our Customer Welfare Support Offer.

FAQs

Why are you increasing my rent?

We are increasing your rent in line with Government legislation. In Social Housing, this is known as the Rent Standard.

We are determined to offer homes that our customers are proud of as well as good value for money. This price increase will help us achieve this by allowing us to reinvest in our current homes, build new homes and to invest in the communities that we serve.

The details of your rent increase will be within a letter you receive in February.

One of the reasons your rent is increasing is because our costs have also increased. Our costs have gone up because of a growth in the rate of inflation which is partly down to the rise in energy prices, shortages in goods and rising wages.

We’ve also reviewed fire safety in all our buildings following the tragic Grenfell Tower fire. Your safety is our number one priority. There’s an increase in the fire safety related services we’re now delivering. We’re carrying out more fire safety inspections by specialist contractors. We’re also investing in fire safety measures and fire safety equipment.

What is the Government Rent Standard?

The Rent Standard is an economic standard that the Regulator of Social Housing expects registered providers, such as Shepherds Bush Housing Association, to comply with. It sets the requirements around how registered providers set and increase rents for all their social housing properties in line with government policy.

You can find more information about the Rent Standard, here. 

How have you calculated the rent increase?

We follow rules set by the government when we calculate any changes to your rent.

The government website explains that social housing rent will be increased by a maximum of the September 2021 CPI +1% from April 2022.  

If this increase exceeds the Government’s ‘rent flexibility level’ (as mentioned in the Rent Standard 2020), then the rent will be increased by the September 2021 CPI only, without the +1%.

So your rent will increase for 2022/23 up to 4.1% as last September’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 3.1% and we apply 1% on top of that.

Why is my rent different to my neighbours'?

You may be wondering why your rent is different to your neighbours’. There are a number of different types of tenancies across our properties and this may mean your rent is different to your neighbours'. The type of tenancy typically depends on when the tenancy started.

  • Fair Rent Tenancies were usual granted between 1977-1988
  • Social Rent Tenancies were granted from 1988 onwards
  • Affordable Rent Tenancies have been granted from 2012 and usually apply to our new developments.

As a general guide our Fair Rents tend to be our cheapest tenancy, followed by Social Rent Tenancies. Affordable Rents are higher as these are based on a maximum rent of 80% of the market rate. 

How will I benefit from the rental increase?

We are determined to offer homes that our customers are proud of as well as good value for money. This price increase will help us achieve this by allowing us to reinvest in our current homes, build new high quality homes and to invest in the communities that we serve.

In your rent increase letter you will see a breakdown of how we have spent your rent over the last 12 months. This transparency hopefully gives you assurances that we are spending your money in the right places.

What if I can't afford my rent increase?

Our priority is to support our customers to sustain their tenancies, and we want to help prevent rent arrears as much as possible.

Our Income team are trained to ensure you get the most out of your income and benefits, help you manage your finances and support you through any changes in circumstances. Their services are friendly, free and confidential.

Please get in touch with them as early as possible if you need help to pay your rent. You can do so by emailing income.team@sbhg.co.uk. Alternatively, there is advice and support available from the local Citizens Advice Bureau.

I claim Housing Benefit. Do I need to do anything?

If your Housing Benefit is paid directly to you, then you will need to inform Housing Benefit of your rent increase before April 1 2022, to make sure you receive the correct payments.

If your Housing Benefit is paid directly to SBHA, you do not need to take any action. We will inform Housing Benefit of your new rent.

I claim Universal Credit. Do I need to do anything?

Once you have received your rent changes letter, which will arrive in February, you will simply need to inform the DWP of this increase via their online portal after the rent increase has been applied. It is important that you do this on your review date in order to avoid issues with receiving your benefits.

For support in doing this please contact our Income team, income.team@sbhg.co.uk.

What if Universal Credit or Housing Benefit doesn’t cover my increase?

If your Universal Credit allowance or Housing Benefit isn’t enough to cover the additional rent increase, we strongly recommend that you make an appointment to see a member of our Income team who can work with you to find a solution.

Do I need to change my standing order or direct debit?

If you pay by direct debit the Income Team will automatically adjust your payment to reflect the rent increase.

If you pay by standing order you will need to contact your bank and change your payment to relfect the rent increase by 1 April 2022. 

Increase in Energy Prices

We know that the increase in energy prices is really impacting our customers. Recently, the government announced a significant increase in the energy price cap, which will see the average household paying just under £700 more per year. 

We want to work with our customers to ensure their income is maximised wherever possible and we will always offer affordable repayment options for those falling into arrears.

Our Customer Support Offer looks at employment support, debt, fuel poverty and wider money and budgeting advice through partnerships. All of which has the primary aim of putting and keeping our customers on the right track.

Find more information at our dedicated Energy Price Increase Page.