Skip to main content

Rent charges FAQ

Take a look through these frequently asked questions regarding this years rent changes:

  • Details of your new rent are included in the notification letter on the first page in the box labelled ‘Total New Charge’. 

    Many of our customers will have seen a decrease in the amount they have to pay. We’re advising all working age customers, whether currently on benefits or not, to pay a little extra in order to get in advance on your rent account as well as trying to build up some savings. This will help you create a safety buffer for the future if you have to claim universal credit and experience any payment delays. 

  • Your service charge may have increased by more than the rent reduction. Our service charges are based on what it costs Bromford to provide the services with no profit for Bromford.

  • Responsive repair and maintenance costs – last year we spent £17 million on repairing homes.

    Re-investment and improvement costs - this includes replacing kitchens, bathrooms, windows and doors. Last year we spent £18 million on improvement works.

    The cost of delivering services – such as your local housing management costs and central support services.

    Paying the interest on the money we borrowed to build customers’ homes.

  • We set the ‘Net Rent’ element of your rent according to a formula set by the Government. It’s based on the value of the property, the size of the property and average earnings in the area. 

    We are allowed to increase this annually by the consumer price index (CPI) as at September plus 1%.

    CPI was -0.1% in September 2015. When we add 1% this means your rent will increase by 0.9% from April 2016.

    However, if you live in a general needs property, the Government, as part of their Budget Statement in July 2015 have asked us to reduce your rent by 1%.

  • The proposed new rent will change from April each year for assured tenants. If your tenancy is weekly or fortnightly, the new rent will begin on the first Monday in April.

    If you pay your rent by direct debit, we will arrange for the direct debit amount to be changed accordingly. However, if your rent has reduced but you want to carry on paying the same amount so you can build up a buffer on your account, please let us know using our contact us form. 

  • If you pay by direct debit, we normally adjust your payment to the new amount. However, if your rent has gone down and you’d like to get ahead with your payment to create a safety buffer in case you have to claim universal credit in the future, please let us know so can arrange this for you. 

  • If you are entitled to benefits, you will need to notify the Housing Benefit Office and the Housing Related Support Team about the new rent and service charges. This will allow them to make adjustments to these benefits if you are entitled to them.

    If you receive the housing cost element as part of your Universal Credit claim then you will need to notify DWP via the Universal Credit Helpline about the new rent and eligible service charge on 0345 600 0723.

    If your rent is reducing, the DWP will treat the reduction as having happened at the beginning of your Universal Credit assessment period even if that is before your rent goes down.

  • In the first instance, please talk to us. We will need to understand why you don’t agree with your new rent. If we can’t agree, you can talk to the Citizen Advice Bureau or an independent solicitor.

    You can also refer your notice to The Property Chamber. Information about how you can access this Tribunal can be found at www.justice.gov.uk

  • If you have a low income, you may be entitled to benefits including financial help with your housing costs by claiming Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. Click here to see if you’re entitled to any help. 

    If you already receive housing benefit to help you pay your rent, then any extra rent and service charge should be paid by housing benefit, Local Authority Housing Related Support Grant, or Supporting People Grant if you still qualify.  However, you will need to notify the Housing Benefit Office and the Housing Related Support Team that deals with your claim about the new rent and service charges. This will allow them to make adjustments to these benefits if you are entitled to them.

    If you  receive the housing cost element as part of your Universal Credit claim then you will need to notify DWP via the Universal Credit Helpline about the new rent and eligible service charge on 0345 600 0723.

  • Paying your rent is one of the most important payments you will need to make whilst you’re living in your home.

    If you ever fall behind with your rent, don’t shy away. It’s important that you tell us first. We’re not here to hound you for money you may owe; we’re here to help you, to help find a solution and to help you get back on track.

    If you're struggling to pay your rent, call us on 0330 1234 034 straight away.

    Once we've discussed your finances, we will make an arrangement on how much you can pay towards your rent and to help clear the arrears you have. Think of it as an action plan. We may arrange for one of our Money Advisors to talk to you – particularly if you are finding it hard to cope financially or have multiple debts.

    You can also get advice from different external agencies, such as Citizens Advice Bureau, Turn To Us or the Money Advice Service.

    You can find more information here - struggling to pay your rent.

If you have any questions that we have not answered here, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Further Information: