Here are the answers to some of the questions we are asked most frequently about Affordable Rent.
All of our Affordable Rent tenancies are for a five-year fixed term. But, if certain conditions are met, you can renew your tenancy at the end of each fixed term.
Affordable Rents are set at up to 80% of the average private rent for an equivalent property of that size and location.
We set the rent using property valuations from professional valuers. They take account of factors such as the local housing market and the individual features of the property. We also consider the relevant Local Housing Allowance (which is the benefit you would get if you were renting from a private landlord).
Yes, the 80% of market rent figure will include most charges that may be payable for services.
The rent is reviewed each year, like all our tenancies. The maximum annual rent increase for an Affordable Rent will be the Retail Price Index plus 0.5%.
(The Retail Price Index is the official consumer price index in Britain. It shows the changes in the cost of living through the prices of a range of goods and services used regularly, such as food, heating and housing.)
If you are currently eligible for Housing Benefit, then you will be able to claim for all levels of Affordable Rent.
However, all our social housing tenancies are affected by the government's ongoing welfare reforms. So if you are under-occupying your house and have a spare bedroom, your Housing Benefit will be cut and will not cover all your rent. You may also be affected by the Benefit Cap which limits the total amount a household can receive in benefits. You can find out more on our Changes to your Benefits page.
At the end of the five-year fixed term, we will usually renew you Affordable Rent tenancy for a further fixed term period. Your tenancy can usually be renewed at the end of every fixed term period.
When your tenancy is renewed, the rent will be recalculated to make sure it is no higher than 80% of the market rent for the property. This means that your rent could change.
When you sign your tenancy agreement, we will tell you about the renewal process, including how your tenancy will be reviewed.
We will not normally renew an Affordable Rent tenancy if:
Your personal circumstances have changed so you no longer need social housing, and low cost home ownership may be a better option
You are under-occupying a property that is too big for your needs
You have broken the conditions of your tenancy agreement (although we will usually take any necessary action during the tenancy period)
You do not co-operate in the review process
If we decide not to renew your tenancy, we will give you legal notice of at least six months to give you time to prepare. In most cases, we will also offer you advice and assistance to help you to find a new home, including moving to supported housing or buying a home through shared ownership if appropriate.
You can appeal against any decision to end your tenancy or the length of the fixed term tenancy offered.
Yes, but anyone moving to your home would need to take up and pay the Affordable Rent fixed-term tenancy. We would have to make sure that everyone involved understands the type of tenancy that applies to your home, so they can make an informed decision about the move.
Find out more about mutual exchange or swapping your home.
Probably not, as it is generally expected that the property continues to be available for letting. However, there may be some circumstances in which you may have the Right to Acquire the property. In some cases, we may be able to get approval to sell the home to you on a shared ownership (part-buy, part-rent) basis. If not, we would be pleased to help you find another home to buy through shared ownership with Waterloo Homes - see Homes to buy.
Yes. Your rent is set to reflect factors such as the size and location of your home. Tenants who have lived in their homes for longer may have had their rent set in a different way, before Affordable Rents were introduced. Their rent will continue to be set as it was before.
Yes. Details of how to end your tenancy, and the notice you need to give us, will be given in your tenancy agreement. You usually need to give at least one month’s notice in writing.
Find out more about ending your tenancy.