The rent you pay covers the cost of managing and repairing your home.
Your rent is set by the housing association that owns your home, using a Government formula. Rents rise once a year, either on the anniversary of you moving in, or on 1st April. When your rent is due to rise, we will write to tell you the new amount and when you must start paying it.
Your service charge
If you live in a flat or house that has extra services, or where you share a garden or other facilities with the other tenants, you pay a service charge. This is also set by the housing association that owns your home.
Your service charge at the start of the tenancy will be shown on your tenancy agreement. Like your rent, it will change every year.
Your service charge covers the cost of:
- looking after shared gardens
- cleaning shared halls or stairs
- looking after door-entry systems
- maintaining lifts
- heating and lighting in communal areas.
Housing benefit can help you pay your rent if your income is low.
When you first move in, your Tenancy Services Officer will give you a housing benefit claim form and information about other welfare benefits you might be able to claim.
If you are already a tenant and your income changes, or the rent goes up, you may become entitled to claim housing benefit. Please contact your local council for a claim form, or ask us for one. The Income Collection Officer can also help you to claim other welfare benefits.
We suggest that you arrange to have your housing benefit paid directly to us.
If you live in a self-contained flat or house, you are responsible for paying your own council tax.
If you are on a low income, you may be able to get council tax support – a reduction in the amount you pay. Whatever your income level, you can also claim a 25% reduction if you live alone. You can usually claim a single adult reduction or council tax benefit on the same form as for housing benefit.
If you need help with your claim, ask your Income Collection Officer.