Rent increase 2015

20 February 2015

We’ve sent out letters this week to many of our residents to let them know about their rent increase from April 2015.

rent increase

The letter has been sent to all tenants with a de Montfort Housing Society and New Linx Housing Trust tenancy. Letters have also been sent to tenants with  a Waterloo Housing Association tenancy which started on or after 1 April 2013. It includes:

  • notice of a rent increase explaining what the new rent and any service charge will be, and what to do if you do not accept the increase
  • a sheet giving a breakdown of any service charge and what it covers

We hope the information we’ve sent is clear. However, there may be other things you’d like to know. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the rent increase. If you have a query that is not covered here, please email us at rents@waterloo.org.uk

What does the rent include?

Rent is what we charge you for living in one of our homes. The rent you pay reflects where your property is and its size. It also includes an amount for insuring the basic structure of your home, but not the contents. We strongly advise you to take out home contents insurance to protect your furniture and belongings.

What is the service charge for?

If you live in a property with a shared entrance hall, grounds or other communal areas your rent will include a service charge. This means that we will look after the cleaning, gardening, maintenance, lighting and electricity charges for these communal areas. In some places, we use the service charge to provide facilities such as lifts, door entry and emergency call systems. Your rent increase letter includes a sheet giving a breakdown of the items you are paying for through your service charge.

How is the service charge set?

The service charge you pay is based on how much these services cost us to provide. The cost is split between the residents who receive the services. We always aim to get the best value for money from our contractors and the way we manage the services provided.

How often does the rent increase?

During the first year of the tenancy, we may increase the rent once only. After the first year, the rent increases annually. Any increase to your service charge will be made at the same time. We will give you one calendar month’s notice in writing of any rent or service charge increase.

How is the rent increase worked out?

Our rents increase yearly in line with government guidelines for housing associations. This year the increase is 2.2% which is calculated by the consumer price index (CPI) measuring the cost of living (1.2%),

Although my rent is to increase, my service charge will be slightly less. Why is this?

The service charge is based on what it actually costs us to provide the services and facilities it pays for. We always aim to get the best value for money from our contractors and the way we manage the services provided. As a result, the costs can sometimes reduce and this saving is passed on to you.

What are the benefits of paying my rent by Direct Debit?

For most people, paying by Direct Debit offers the easiest way to pay their rent on time. It is easy to set up and totally flexible too, as you decide the collection date and frequency – weekly, fortnightly, monthly, it’s up to you.

And whenever you are notified of a rent increase you do not need to do anything, as the new amount is collected automatically.

You can set up your Direct Debit over the phone by calling us on 0800 435 016 (option 3).

I’m worried about paying my rent. What should I do?

If you are having problems then the sooner you get in touch with us, the easier it will be to help you manage your situation. We will look at your individual circumstances to work out the best option for you.

We may be able to set up a payment agreement so that you can pay off a small amount on a regular basis to help you clear your arrears. We’ll help you work out what will be a manageable amount for you to pay.

It is vital that you keep up with your rent payments, or you could risk losing your home. So please talk to us if you are having difficulties. Call 0800 435 016 (option 3).

You can view your current rent statement online at any time. Go to My Waterloo to register, using your tenancy reference number, which is given in your rent increase letter.