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Changes to your rent and service charges

Publication date: this page was published, March 2020

We’re sending out letters, week starting Monday 2 March, to set out exactly what your new rent and service charges will be.

  • Rent and service charge increases will take effect from Monday 6 April 2020 
    • If you receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit and these currently cover all your rent, then it is likely that this will continue to be the case.
    • Either Housing Benefit or the DWP will let you know your new entitlement.

Why we are making the changes
Each year we look at what all customers pay in rent and service charges for your home or garage.

As a housing association and provider of affordable housing, we do all that we can to keep this as low as possible and continue to offer homes at well below market rates. To help tenants with their finances, the Government introduced a rent reduction in 2016, meaning that your rent has decreased by 1% each year for the last four years.

Changes to your rent
Now that this rent reduction is coming to an end, like other housing associations, we will be increasing your annual rent in line with the Government’s rent policy, which means it will increase by the Consumer Price Index (one of the measures of inflation), plus 1%. This is to ensure we can deliver the services you need from us, including improvements to homes and communal areas. 

Click on the link below, for an example of what the rent increase will look like,

Changes to your service charges
We will also be recovering more of the cost of delivering services through service charges, as we have been under-charging for these services previously. Service charges cover the costs of maintaining communal areas for your estate and/or block.

  • an estate can include a number of houses and/or one or more blocks.
  • a block is a group of properties that share a roof (for example, a block of flats).

The service charge for a customer's home may include costs for a particular service at both an estate and block level.

These increases will take effect from Monday 6 April 2020.

Benefits advice
We appreciate that no one likes a rent or service charge increase, but we need to balance affordability with making sure that your home is safe, secure and kept to the high standard we expect for all our customers. As a not-for-profit organisation, we reinvest all the money we make back into our homes, so this increase in cost is to ensure that we can continue to deliver a good service to you.

If you’re in receipt of Housing Benefit or Universal Credit and these currently cover all your rent, then it is likely that this will continue to be the case.

Either Housing Benefit or the DWP will be able to notify you of your new entitlement in March.

Check what benefits you are entitled to
For further advice on what benefits you are entitled to, visit the Government’s benefits webpage,

If you have any concerns about managing your finances, there is support available. You can get in touch with Citizens Advice Broxbourne. 

Paying your rent and service charges
There are many ways to pay your rent.

  • Universal Credit: if you receive Universal Credit, please update your journal to reflect the new charges as soon as you receive the letter outlining what your new charges are.

  • Housing Benefit: if you receive full housing benefit, this will automatically increase in April. You do not need to take any action and Housing Benefit should write to you to let you know your new entitlement.