Paying your rent
We aim to make paying your rent as easy as possible.
It is a condition of your tenancy that your rent is due each week in advance. Your arrears should not build up between payments. This means if you pay weekly then you should be one week in advance, if you pay four weekly you should be four weeks in advance and if you pay monthly then you should be one month in advance. This still applies if you are in receipt of Housing Benefit, Universal Credit or Discretionary Housing Payments.
From April 2023, our rents will be increasing by 7% in line with the Government's cap on social rent increase. You can find out more about this below, but if you think you may struggle to pay, please contact us to arrange a payment plan.
If you pay your rent monthly, it is due on the first of each month. If you would prefer to pay your rent at a different time of the month to fit with your pay day, please contact us to arrange it.
Remember: Your rent account should be in credit at all times. You can request a rent statement at any time.
Social rents are set by Government legislation. Between April 2015 and March 2020 social housing providers like Network Homes had to decrease 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.
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 increase rents, 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.
The 2020 Rent Standard allows rents to increase every 12 months from April 2020 until March 2025 by 1% plus the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The relevant CPI measure is taken from September the previous year. This year the CPI was very high (10.1%) and so the Government is capping social rent increases at 7%.
This means your rent will go up by 7%.
CPI shows how the price of goods and services are increasing, and is commonly known as inflation or the cost of living. As prices increase, each pound we receive in rent becomes less valuable because it pays for fewer goods and services. We’re committed to providing high-quality homes and services so to keep doing this we’ve decided to increase rents in line with CPI.
You can find out more about CPI on the Office for National Statistics’ website at www.ons.gov.uk.
If you receive Housing Benefit or housing cost payments through Universal Credit to pay for your rent, you must let them know if there's any changes such as an increase or decrease in rent charges. If you're rent has increased, you might be able to get extra money to pay for it.
What to do if you receive Housing Benefit
Tell the housing team at the council about the increase before it starts and give them a copy of the rent increase letter from us. You can do this by visiting your local council office or website.
What to do if you receive housing cost payments through Universal Credit
You'll need to log into your Universal Credit online account to report the changes to your rent. You can follow the example below for a guide on how to update this information in your online account.
Log into your universal credit journal and click ‘to-do list’
1. Date of change
When asked if your housing cost change, select answer option 'Yes'.
When asked if you're still charged weekly for your rent, select the answer option 'Yes' and then enter your new rent (not including service charges, if any) when asked for your new rent payment per week.
3. Eligible service charges
Under eligible services you'll be asked if you're still charged weekly for your service charge. select the answer option 'Yes'.
If you do not pay service charges, type £00.00.
If you pay service charges, enter the total amount of the eligible service charges (not including the rent charge). Individual water and heating is usually ineligible. If you are unsure, give us a call on 0300 373 3000 and we will confirm if you have any ineligible charges within the service charges for your home.
If you already pay us by direct debit, you don’t need to do anything. We’ll automatically amend your direct debit to the new amount. You’ll get a letter to confirm your new schedule of payments. If you pay by standing order, you’ll need to tell your bank that the amount has changed. You can check that this has been done by looking at your bank statement.
We know many households are facing financial pressures because of rising prices and energy bills.
We offer a range of support services for residents including:
- welfare and benefits advice
- emergency financial support through our charitable fund
- employment and training opportunities.
If you think you're going to struggle to pay your rent, let us know as soon as possible. It’s better to deal with the problem straight away rather than letting rent arrears build up.
You may be able to get financial help from your local council. Get in touch with their housing benefit team. You can also get free, confidential advice on how to manage debt from:
The rent you pay for your home is our main source of income. We use this money to carry out repairs and improvements to homes and neighbourhoods. As a not-for-profit organisation, any surplus we make is reinvested into services that benefit you. The rent increase will enable us to do more – such as upgrading more homes, building new ones and creating community projects that improve people’s lives.
Your service charge is calculated separately. Service charges are based on the cost of providing the communal facilities that you use. Your service charge is included as a separate itemised amount in your rent increase letter.
If you have a question that’s not covered in this booklet, you can contact us via our website or by email at email@example.com.