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Your rent increase explained

16 March 2022

If you’re one of our tenants, you’ll have received your annual rent review from us recently and seen we are increasing our rents by 4.1% from April this year. We know times are tough for many people at the moment so we want to be open with you about why we’re doing this.

Government Rent Standard

Social rents are set by government legislation. Between April 2015 and March 2020 social housing providers like Network Homes had to decrease their rents by 1% each year. Since 1 April 2020, the Government has allowed social landlords to increase rents in line with its 2020 rent standard.

The 2020 Rent Standard allows social housing providers to increase their rents every 12 months from April 2020 until March 2025 by 1% plus the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The Government expects us to follow this specific formula to calculate and set our rents. The relevant CPI measure is taken from September the previous year, and in September 2021 the CPI was 3.1%. This is why your rent will go up by 4.1% from April (1% plus 3.1% CPI).  

Impact of Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic has created financial pressures for people and businesses everywhere, including Network Homes. Because of the increased financial risks facing Network Homes, our Board agreed that we should increase our rents in line with the Government’s Rent Standard. If we don’t do this, there is a higher risk that we may face tougher financial challenges in the future, making it harder for us to deliver services to residents and build new homes for people who need them.

We know the pandemic has also seriously affected many residents, and energy price rises and other cost of living increases are a big worry.

If you think you're going to struggle to pay your rent, let us know as soon as possible. Our Income Team is here to help you. You can call them on 0300 373 3000 or e-mail: customerservice@networkhomes.org.uk. You might also be eligible for support from our charitable fund which is there for residents struggling financially. 

How has the pandemic impacted Network Homes?

The pandemic has meant that:

  • There has been an increase in the amount of time it takes us to let empty homes, which means we have missed out on rental income for longer periods.
  • It has been more difficult for us to sell shared ownership and private sale homes for the prices we expected to be able to sell them for.
  • Our housebuilding programme has slowed down, which leads to increased costs (e.g. more interest payments on the loans we take out in order to build homes).

Like many housing associations, we are also facing extremely high building safety costs. We are applying to the government’s building safety fund to help us meet these where possible, but funding may not be available for all our buildings that need work.

As a not-for-profit housing association, every penny of the surplus we make from rent and new homes sales each year is reinvested into delivering our social objectives of building more homes, maintaining our existing ones and seeking to improve our services year on year. All the factors above have put extra pressure on our income which enables us to do these things, and this is why our Board has decided to increase rents in line with the Government’s Rent Standard.

You can find out more about how we use your rent in our Annual report for tenants 2020/21

Find out more about paying your rent

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