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Your rent will increase on 1 April

Your rent is going to increase by 4.1% on 1 April. Here’s what you need to know about the increase, why it’s happening, how it will affect you and the help available to you if you’re struggling.

We will increase rent in line with government legislation at Consumer Price Index rate (CPI) +1%. The CPI for September 2021 was announced by the Government as 3.1% so this means your rent will increase by 4.1%.

We have given the rent increase a lot of thought and have discussed the issue with our Board and tenant Scrutiny Panel. We believe that in order to deliver our commitments as set out in our corporate plan we need to maximise the money we receive from rents and apply the increase of CPI+1%.

The additional 1% will allow us to continue major investment in our 3,800 existing homes, build new homes to meet continued demand, make our homes more energy efficient and deliver ‘added value’ services such as Reach, The Market Place and Grow Speke. For more details please see our FAQ section below.

So how will the increase affect you? If for example you currently pay £100 per week in rent, your new rent will be £104.10. Not all rents will rise by the full 4.1%, however the majority will. Rents for all homes will be reviewed, and any changes in rent will be applied from April 2022. You will receive full details of your new rent in a letter that you will receive on or around 25 February.

What do I need to do to?

What you need to do depends on your circumstances and how you pay your rent. This might be through your Universal Credit, by Standing Order, Direct Debit or via Housing Benefit.

Full details can be found in the FAQ section below.

I’m struggling to pay my rent

If you’re struggling to pay your rent, or anticipate that the rent increase will cause you to fall into arrears, please don’t let the problem get out of control. Contact our income team now on myrent@southliverpoolhomes.co.uk or 0330 303 3000 option 2. The team will be able to help you make a plan to keep on top of your rent and also point you in the direction of our benefits and energy advice team, who can help you make the most of your money.

 

Frequently asked questions

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Q: What will my new rent be?

From 1 April 2022, your rent will rise by CPI (Consumer Price Index) plus 1%. The CPI for September 2021 was announced by the Government as 3.1% so this means your rent will increase by 4.1%.

Example:

If you live in a three-bedroom home and your rent is currently £100 per week, then your rent will increase to £104.10 per week, a difference of £4.10 per week.

We will write to you at the end of February to confirm how this will affect your rent payments.

NB: there will be a small percentage of tenants whose rents will not rise by the full 4.1% due to the type of tenancy. We will let you know if this applies to you when you receive your letter at the end of February.

Q: Why is my rent increasing?

Like every housing association, we review rents every year in line with the CPI.  We have discussed the rent increase with our Board and Tenant Scrutiny Panel about what the extra will money will pay for i.e. investing more in your homes, delivering community investment activities and continuing to build much-needed homes in the area.

In 2022/23 we will spend approximately £4million on repairs and maintenance of our existing homes. We’ll also spend £4million on investment works, including almost £1.3million on kitchens, £475,000 on new boilers and almost £400,000 on high-performance windows. We’re also delivering a £250,000 pilot scheme to retrofit existing homes to make them more eco friendly and energy efficient, part of our long-term challenge to become a net zero carbon housing association by 2050.

Q: What is the Consumer Price Index?

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure used by the government to estimate the average cost of typical household consumer goods and services and how that cost increases over time with inflation. The CPI rate varies and was 3.1% at September 2021.

Find out more about CPI 

Q: Do you have to increase my rent?

We need to increase your rent by at least CPI otherwise we simply can’t deliver what we need to. The increase means we will be able to invest more in your homes and community, including making your homes more energy efficient through our de-carbonisation project.

Q: What do I need to do to stay in credit?

What you need to do depends on your circumstances and how you pay your rent. This might be through your Universal Credit, by Standing Order, Direct Debit or via Housing Benefit.

Universal Credit

If you receive Universal Credit, it is your responsibility to notify the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) of the changes to your rent and service charge if applicable.

To do this follow the instructions below:

  1. Log in to your online Universal Credit account
  2. Tap on the ‘To do’ button
  3. Complete the ‘Confirm your housing costs’ to do on the date shown below (do not use the ‘change of circumstances’ to do to report your rent increase)

This should be done by:

  • 1 April 2022 for those that pay rent monthly
  • 4 April 2022 for all other rent payment frequencies

If you don't do this, you will be underpaid your housing costs which will result in arrears on your rent account.

Standing Order

If you pay by standing order, you will need to contact your bank to change your standing order to reflect your new rent payments.

Direct Debit

If you pay by Direct Debit we will contact you to amend your mandate. If we are unable to make contact, then we will amend it on your behalf. Alternatively, give us a call on 0330 303 3000 and press option 2 to speak to us about amending your Direct Debit payment.

Housing Benefit

If you receive housing benefit, you do not need to do anything as we will inform Liverpool City Council of the change.

Q: I pay service charges – will the same increases apply?

Your service charge may increase but this will vary for each household as it will depend on what type of service charge you pay.

Please be assured that we will only set service charges in line with our policy. Your rent letter will let you know how much your service charge will increase by.

Q: Can I appeal the rent increase?

Contact us and we can talk to you about why this rent has been applied. If you are still not satisfied, we can refer you to an independent body who will consider your dissatisfaction.

Not paying your increase will result in rent arrears building up on your account and we will have to take action to recover the unpaid rent that is due.

We want to avoid this unpleasant and unnecessary situation as it may end up with you facing more debt and possibly legal fees which would only make your financial circumstances more difficult.

Q: I’m struggling to pay my rent, what should I do?

If you are struggling to pay your rent, please talk to us. Speak to our income team on myrent@southliverpoolhomes.co.uk or 0330 303 3000 option 2. They will be able to help you make a plan to stay in credit and signpost you to our benefits and energy advice team who will help you make the most of your money.

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