Changes to your rent and other charges
Each year, there will be changes to your rent and/or service charges.
This page shows how your rent and other charges are worked out.
Why does my rent change?
Every year we have to make carefully considered decisions based on various factors including government regulation. We have decided that in order to continue investing in good quality homes and services for all, we need to make an increase in the rent to be applied from April 2023 / October 2023 (depending on contract).
It's really important to talk to us if you have concerns about your ability to pay your rent. Your Bromford income management advisor is there to support you and work with you to find an affordable solution.
You can find additional information about what to do if you find yourself struggling to pay your rent here,
How much is my Rent increasing by?
Bromford has calculated the rent element of the increase in accordance with the customer's shared ownership lease but has then capped it at 7% (rather than increasing to the full amount permitted by the lease).
Bromford will cap rent for 2023/2024 as we are acutely aware of the financial strain the cost-of-living crisis is putting on our customers. We have capped the increase for this year only.
What does my rent pay for?
As a not-for-profit organisation, every single penny we receive is reinvested in services for customers, such as things like front-line services and making repairs and upgrades to your home.
The graphs below show our total income and where each £1 came from, and then our total expenditure and how each £1 was spent.
Are you claiming benefits to help with rent payments?
What will happen to my benefits if my changes?
You must let the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) know of any change of circumstances that might affect your payment – this includes any changes to the amount of rent or service charges you pay.
You should have received a letter recently detailing changes to your rent and/or service charges. To ensure that your housing costs are paid at the correct rate, you must update your UC online account with your new April rent and/or service charge details.
If you claim Housing Benefit which is paid directly to Bromford, we will notify the housing benefit department of the change in your rent. They will make the adjustments to your entitlement and write to you to confirm this.
What will happen to my benefits if my rent changes?
If you receive housing benefit, we will notify the housing benefit department of the change in your rent. They will make the adjustments to your entitlement and write to you to confirm this.
If you receive a housing element as part of your Universal Credit claim, you will need to notify the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) via your UC online account as soon as this change occurs.
When will the new charges start?
The new charges will apply from April 2023 / October 2023 (depending on contract).
If you pay your rent monthly this will be effective as of Friday 1 April and if you pay your rent weekly or fortnightly this will be effective as of Monday 3rd April.
Will I need to change my direct debit?
If you pay your rent by direct debit, we’ll amend your payments to accommodate the new amount and you will receive a letter shortly to confirm the new payments.
I want to pay a little bit extra and create a credit balance on my account
To get ahead with your payments or clear any arrears you may have, you can increase the amount you pay by direct debit or pay online.
This will help you create a credit balance for the future in case you have to claim benefits and experience any delays receiving your payments.
Please let us know if you'd like to change your direct debit to a higher amount and we can arrange this for you.
Can I change my payment method?
You can pay your rent easily by direct debit, online using your customer portal account, or by telephone using the automated payment line on 0330 1234 034.
I do not agree with my service charges
Service charges in most instances are reflective of the costs to provide those services. If you have any queries relating to your service charges, please contact us
A service charge summary of accounts is provided with your letter which details the breakdown of the services you receive and the costs associated with providing those services.
Citizens Advice Bureau offer advice as do independent solicitors. The Property Chamber could be another option for appeals, and reference relating to disputes over property and land.
When are the non-collection weeks this year (if applicable)?
For customers with weekly charges applied over 48 weeks, the non-collection weeks will be:
- Week commencing 21st August 2023
- Week commencing 11th December 2023
- Week commencing 18th December 2023
- Week commencing 25th March 2024
For customers with weekly charges applied over 50 weeks, the non-collection weeks will be:
- Week commencing 18th December 2023
- Week commencing 25th March 2024
For customers with fortnightly charges, the non-collection periods will be:
- 11th December 2023 to 24th December 2023
- 18th March 2024 to 31st March 2024
What is a service charge?
A service charge is the amount payable in addition to the rent (if applicable) for the delivery of communal services, repairs, maintenance, improvements, and the landlord’s cost of management.
For leaseholders and shared owners, the service charge includes the cost of building insurance.
For example, if you live in a flat, then the cost of maintaining any shared areas, such as corridors, stairwells, or a shared garden will be covered by service charges. The amount charged depends on the services you benefit from. If you don’t receive any services, then you won’t have to pay any service charges.
Why do I have to pay for service charges?
We have a legal obligation to provide certain services where you live, and you are required to contribute towards the cost of providing these services as per the terms and conditions of your tenancy or lease.
What is included in my service charge?
The list of services covered under your service charge are set out in the service charge statement we send to you along with your rent review letter. They will also be set out within your lease or tenancy agreement.
The services listed will be relevant to you and your property.
How do we calculate your service charge?
Service charges are applied using two different methods, ‘fixed’ or ‘variable’.
If you have a fixed service charge: we review these service charges once a year at the same time as carrying out the rent review. The fixed service charges applied are only used to cover the costs to pay for the services you may receive. An estimate ofhe cost for providing a service from April is calculated based on the previous year's costs, any known or estimated increases or decreases in cost for the current year, and any adjustments for inflation.
The overall cost of the service is then divided between the customers who receive the service – that way each customer only pays for their share of the services they receive.
If you have a variable service charge, we calculate how much your services have cost over the year and compare that to what we have charged you. If we have charged you more than we have spent, the surplus will be deducted from the following years’ service charges or applied as a credit to your account at the end of March as a lump sum. If we charged you less than we spent, then the deficit will be added on to your charges for the following year or applied to your account at the end of March as a lump sum.
We are required to send customers with variable service charges a breakdown of the service charge account each year, and this is normally issued in September of each year.
We regularly review our service charges to make sure they provide value for money.
When will I start paying the service charge?
The changes to service chargess are normally applied in April each year. There are a few exceptions to this, and where applicable these will be shown within your lease.
What if I think my service charge is incorrect?
If you don't agree with the service charge, please contact your neighbourhood coach in the first instance to raise your query with them. If you are concerned about your ability to pay your service charges, we also have specialist income management advisors who can offer more focused support. For customers with variable service charges we will also enclose with your letter a rights and obligations document in relation to your service charges.
What is building insurance?
If you are a leaseholder or shared owner and own a share in your property or 100% of an apartment, we arrange the buildings insurance for your home on your behalf, and you will have to pay for this by way of a service charge.
There are some exceptions when someone else owns the freehold and another managing agent provides services. If this applies to you, we will have advised you of this when you moved in.
The home insurance policy has recently been renewed, and the company that provides the insurance has made the following change:
From 1 March 2023, the excess fee you will pay in the event of a claim will be £250.
We renew the insurance that covers your home every year. To do this, we work with our insurance advisers and brokers to ensure you’re getting the best value. If you have any questions about this change, please contact email@example.com.
What is ground rent?
If you are a leaseholder or a shared owner and live in a flat, you will usually have to pay a ground rent. Ground rents are typically between £10 - £250 per year. They are fixed amounts which do not usually change from year to year.
Your lease states how much ground rent is payable, when it is due, and if there will be any increase. Ground rent is usually payable once or twice a year.
We will send you a ground rent notice asking for payment before the ground rent is due. We will tell you how much you need to pay, when it is due and who it is payable to.
When we send you a request for payment, we will also send you a ground rent notice. You have 30 days to pay the ground rent from the date the notice is served.