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Look out for your annual rent and service charge letter

From 1 April, your rent and service charge will change. We have sent you a letter about this so it’s important you read it.

In December, we told you about the Government’s new rent standard that allows social landlords to increase rents by up to 2.7% from 1 April 2020. This is a change from the previous years, where the Government required us to reduce rents by 1% each year. Our Board has decided to go ahead with the increase in rents by 2.7% which you can hear more about in our Chief Executive’s January board meeting vlog.

We have included details about your annual rent and service charge for 2020 / 2021 in your letter which covers if you’re affected by the 2.7% increase in rent and more information about it. Please note, this rent increase does not apply to your service charge. We calculate your service separately based on an estimate of the amount we anticipate spending on providing services or works to your building over the financial year.

What to do if the amount you have to pay has changed?

If you receive:

  • Housing benefit it’s your responsibility to let your local authority’s housing benefit team know about your new rent and service charge. Please report the changes as soon as possible to your local authority as their housing benefit team can only back date your claim for one month.
  • Universal Credit then you’ll need to report that your rent and service charge has changed to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) using your online Universal Credit account. Please report the changes as soon as possible as your claim can only be back dated by 1 month. For more information go to: https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/changes-of-circumstances.

Remember, if you don’t report your change in rent to your local authority’s housing benefit team (if you receive housing benefit) or Department for Work and Pensions (if you receive Universal Credit), it may result in arrears building on your rent account as the amount you receive will be different to the amount you need to pay.

If you pay your rent by:

  • Direct Debit then we’ll adjust your direct debit to take account of any rent and service charge increase or decrease.
  • standing order then you’ll need to amend your standing order with your bank.

What to do if you have not received a letter?

If you have not received the letter from us about your rent and service charge by 31 March 2020, please contact our Income Team on 0300 373 3000 or send us an email to customerservices@networkhomes.org.uk.