Rent and service charges are calculated according to the type of property that you live in and also the type of services that we provide.
The rent you pay to us covers the cost of providing, managing, maintaining and improving your home. The way in which housing associations calculate rent is set by central government to ensure all social housing providers charge similar rents.
Rents differ for each property because they are based on various factors including, property valuation, size of property, location, average local earnings and the type of tenancy agreement you have.
From 1 April 2019 the amount of rent you pay, and where applicable service charges, will be changing.
2019-20 is the final year of the government’s 4 year rent reduction policy which affected all housing associations. From April 2020 the government has announced that rents will increase in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus 1%.
There are some tenures which are not included in the 1% rent reduction. These include Intermediate Rent, Market Rent and Shared Ownership.
Rent for shared ownership properties is calculated using a formula specified in your lease. Increases are generally based on a combination of the Retail Price Index plus a percentage specified in your lease. Your lease will include all relevant details.
Your Service Charge
Some of our customers pay a service charge in addition to their rent. Your tenancy agreement will show if this is the case and give details of the services we provide to your property. The service charge contributes toward the costs incurred in providing these services. These charges may include such things as the grounds maintenance of communal/neighbourhood areas, cleaning and lighting.
The 1% reduction applies to rent only. Service Charges are not affected by this and therefore some customers may see an overall increase in what they have to pay.
Service charges are set to cover actual costs incurred in the provision of the service. Costs are divided between all customers who benefit from the service and are set to recover actual costs incurred; we do not make a profit from these charges.
Initially we estimate what these charges will be. This is based on previous actual costs, as well as any expected increases or decreases, including inflationary costs. They are then adjusted after the end of the charge year, once actual costs incurred are known. Any additional cost (underpayment) is then charged, or credit (overpayment) returned, in the following years’ charges.
Housing Benefit & Universal Credit
If you receive Housing Benefit and this is paid to us by your Council, we will inform them of the new charges and they will tell us what your new entitlement will be. Your housing benefit office will write to you to confirm details of your new award.
If you receive Housing Benefit and this is paid to you by the Council, you must inform them of the change in your charges.
If you are claiming Universal Credit you must inform the Department for Work and Pensions of the change to your charges. Please click here for more detailed information.
Paying your charges
If you pay by direct debit, we will automatically amend your payments and let you know the new direct debit amount at least 10 working days before the payment is taken. If you pay in any other way, please adjust your payments from 1 April 2019.
If your charges are raised on a weekly basis, our notice of rent change, or rent and service charge change, includes a figure showing your calendar monthly payment amount.
In most rent and service charge years we calculate your monthly payment amount by multiplying your weekly charges by 52 and dividing this figure by 12 monthly payments.
For 2019/20, the rent and service charge year includes 53 Mondays. As your rent and service charges are billed on a Monday, your calendar monthly charges have been calculated by multiplying your total weekly charges by 53 and dividing this figure by 12 monthly payments.
If you pay by weekly direct debit, we collect payments on a Friday to cover charges starting from the next Monday.
If you pay by Standing Order please adjust your payments to reflect the new charges. If you make a calendar monthly payment the figure you need to pay is shown on your rent and service charge review letter.
Please remember that in accordance with your tenancy agreement, your rent is payable in advance at all times.
Online services and support
You can check your balance, see statements and make payments online any time via your My SaxonWeald account.
If you are experiencing financial difficulties and finding it hard to cover your rent, please click here to see our Money Matters pages for infromation and assistance you may be entitled to, as well as details of organisations that offer free benefits and debt advice.
We hope the information provided on this page will help to answer any queries you have in relation to your charges. If you have a query that hasn’t been answered, please contact us via your MySaxonWeald account or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.