Rent Increase and Restructure 2022/2023
This page is about the once-a-year consultation on your rent and service charges. Your views matter and it’s important that we hear your opinion on our proposals for 2022/23. All tenants pay rent, regardless of whether you pay the full charge yourself, receive Universal Credit or Housing Benefit.
The Association is preparing the budget and considering proposals for the rent & service charge levels in 2022/2023 (from 1st April 2022). The Association asks tenants about these proposals every year, which we are required to do by law. We ask all tenants to complete our rent increase survey by logging into your account on the Association’s customer portal “My Cloch” https://my.clochhousing.org.uk
Following careful planning, we are considering a rent increase of up to 2.5% for 2022/2023; the rent we propose to charge you from 1st April 2022 is detailed in the letter we have sent you. It’s worth pointing out that this proposed increase is significantly below the current level of inflation and against the backdrop of increasing additional maintenance and management costs.
The Association is always looking to reduce costs and make savings while also improving our service to you and we have done this in the past year and will continue to do so as we look at ways of budgeting to minimise these future costs and increases. We are committed to keeping your rents as low as possible.
As you may recall, we wrote to tenants in October 2019 advising you that following consultation about a fairer rents system, rents would need to be restructured over a period of time to ensure target rents are achieved.
The Board has agreed to continue to implement the Association’s new rent structure however, any increase due to the restructure will be limited to £10 per month for those tenants affected. Previously it was agreed to limit the increase to £20 but because of the financial uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic and increasing energy costs affecting our tenants, it was considered appropriate to limit this to £10. A number of tenants will continue to see their rent frozen in the new financial year as part of the restructure
These changes are separate from our once-a-year rent increase however, the rent you pay going forward will be affected by the rent restructure. Our new rent setting policy reflects the property type, size, age and some property features – this is known as the ‘Target Rent’.
There are three ways that your rent could be affected on 1 April 2022 because of these changes and the once-a-year rent increase:
|1. Rent will Be Frozen||2. Rent will increase by up to 2.5%||3. Your Rent will increase by between £0 - £10 per month and by 2.5%|
|Your rent will not increase on 1 April 2022 so that your rent matches up with our new policy. This will be reviewed each year.||
Your rent is at your 'Target Rent' so your rent will increase by 2.5%
Your current rent is just above the 'Target Rent' but with the 2.5% increase, your rent will need to go up as the target rent has risen also - this will be a below 2.5% increase - and from there you will be at the 'Target Rent'
|Your rent is lower than your ‘Target Rent’ and the increase is being phased in as per the new rent setting policy.|
If you are unsure how you will be affected, please see the letter we sent you or contact your Housing Officer.
How We Calculate What You Pay
Your monthly charge is made up of rent and service charges.
These charges vary depending on the type of accommodation and services you receive. More information about the rent you pay and how this is calculated is available in our rent restructure leaflet.
How do we work out what the increase should be?
Our aim is to keep rents as low as possible while ensuring the Association remains financially stable. The rent needs to be high enough to allow us to manage and maintain your home. We have a 30-year plan for each home to make sure we can cover all the work that will be needed. We try to keep our costs to a low level, but our main costs of managing and repairing our properties can rise by more than inflation.
Our rents need to be affordable to our tenants. With costs increasing higher than most income levels, this is more important than ever. The rents also need to compare with other landlords providing similar rented homes and services in Inverclyde and beyond.
We are committed to keeping our rents affordable for our properties.
On comparing our rents with neighbouring and similar housing associations, Cloch’s current average charge of £406.83 (self-contained general needs properties only) per month is slightly higher than the neighbouring landlords however, our housing stock is on average newer than other landlords and we also have a higher proportion of newer, cottage type dwellings which would account for this. Our proposed rent increase is lower than other local landlords. We believe that our rents offer good value for the quality of accommodation and level of service our tenants receive.
Proposed Rent Increase 2022/2023
The Association must set the once-a-year rent increase to cover our costs to continue to provide the full range of services to effectively manage and maintain tenants’ homes. The proposed average increase for 2022/23 is 2.5% which we believe is the lowest rent increase we can apply which will allow us to meet the needs of our Business Plan, taking account of loan repayments which have been necessary to allow us to build homes. This does not apply to our secure tenants whose rent is controlled by the Rent Officer.
Here are some examples of how the proposed increase will affect average monthly rents (general needs, self-contained properties, excluding the rent restructure changes and any service charges):
|Type||Current Average Monthly Rent||Average with 2.5% Increase|
How affordable is the proposed rent increase?
If you receive Housing Benefit (HB) or Universal Credit (UC), the increase will normally be covered by your entitlement to these benefits. Tenants in receipt of UC will need to update their claim with new rent details once any increase is applied.
We asked tenants during our most recent Tenant Satisfaction Survey in 2018 how many of them felt rents were value for money; 81% of tenants were satisfied that the rent was value for money against the Scottish average of 83% (Source: ARC Performance 2020/2021, Scottish Housing Regulator November 2021). This was one of the reasons that we restructured our rents to make them fairer and all new rents will meet the Scottish Federation of Housing Association’s Affordability Test once this process is complete.
We appreciate however that tenant’s financial circumstances can change, sometimes improving and sometimes worsening. We would therefore encourage any tenant who thinks that the proposed increase could cause financial difficulty to contact your Housing Officer immediately to discuss your situation.
How do we spend your rent money?
The rent increase will help fund next year’s improvement programme, which includes:
- 176 Bathrooms
- 48 Kitchens
- 79 Heating Systems or boilers
- 20 Door Entry
- 39 Close Doors
- 12 Close windows
- 59 Properties will have their windows renewed
- 78 Re-wires
- Painting – 16 houses & 3 Closes
There is more information about how we spend your rent money contained within our most recent Annual Report.
Service charges are to cover services provided to tenants. We recover the full cost of providing any service by dividing up the projected cost for the year by the number of tenants/owners who receive the service. You only get charged for a service if you receive it.
Details of any service charges you pay have been explained in the letter we sent you.
How can I have my say?
Due to the current Covid restrictions, we are unable to have our usual consultation event. However, if you would like to discuss the rent increase proposals, please contact your Housing Officer. Remember to make your views count – please complete the survey on 'My Cloch' by the deadline of Friday 14th January 2022.
Surveys completed by Friday 14th January 2022, will be entered into a draw for a £50 shopping voucher. The Association’s Board will then review the responses to the survey at their meeting in early February where the rent increase will be agreed upon.
If you have any queries regarding this matter, please contact your Housing Officer.
- Rent increase consultation begins Mid December 2021
- The consultation closes Friday 14th January 2022
- The decision by Cloch Board Tuesday 1st February 2022
- Notification to all tenants by 1st March 2022
- Proposed rent increase effective from 1st April 2022
All questionnaires completed on 'My Cloch' by the closing date will be entered a prize draw for a £50 shopping voucher.
The Board will approve the rent and service charge increase in February. We will write to tenants no later than the 1st of March 2022 in accordance with your tenancy agreement, to advise you of your new rent from 1st April 2022, which is payable monthly in advance.
If you would like to discuss the Rent and Service Charge Review and how it could affect you please contact your Housing Officer in the first instance, they will record your views and pass them onto the Leadership Team to be reported to the Board as part of the consultation responses.
Telephone: 01475 783637