Under normal circumstances, Cloch Housing Association would usually be writing out to tenants at this time of year, asking for their views on our proposed rent increase from 1st April 2023. However, this year we are taking a different approach and we will be delaying this activity until mid-January 2023. This is why:
You will probably know by now that the Scottish Government introduced a rent freeze in September 2022. This meant that any private landlord or housing association could not increase rents until 31st March 2023. This did not affect Cloch or our customers as we do not increase our rents until 1st April each year, however, this has had an impact on how we will carry out our rent consultation.
The Scottish Government still may decide to extend the rent freeze past 1st April 2023, they might decide to introduce a rent cap, or they might just say we can go ahead and set our own rent increase in consultation with our tenants. In England the Government has confirmed that landlords cannot increase rents by more than 7%.
We will not know what the Scottish Government’s decision on rents will be until 14th January 2023, at the latest. This is the reason why we are choosing to hold off on asking tenants for their views on any rent increase, until we know what the Scottish Government’s plans are.
We always strive to keep our rents as low as possible whilst still providing tenants with a well-maintained and improved home. We know that the cost of living is affecting all of us, with rising fuel and food bills and we want to do everything we possibly can to help tenants through this crisis.
At Cloch we are feeling the effects of the crisis too, with loan interest rates increasing by 25% impacting our mortgage payments. Building material prices have shot up by 33%, the supply of materials has been hugely affected by Brexit and the war in Ukraine. We pride ourselves on keeping tenants’ homes in good, improved condition but with costs rising and a potential rent cap we may have to pull back on some of our planned maintenance programmes.
These are the kind of things we want to speak to tenants about and we plan to hold some events in January 2023 where they can come along and speak to our Customer Involvement Team about what is important to them as a Cloch tenant.
Meantime we have issued a short survey for tenants which is available to complete on our tenant portal. This survey asks a couple of questions about rents from 1st April 2023, and we are keen to get tenant views on this to help us plan the rent discussions. Completing this survey also puts tenants into our prize draw, 1st prize is an Apple iPad and 2nd prize is a Samsung Galaxy tablet, which have kindly been donated by some of our suppliers. The closing date was initially 19th December 2022, however, given the postal issues, this has been extended to 22nd December 2022, so do not miss out. Fill in the survey today!
If you are a tenant and wish to chat to us about any of the above information, please do not hesitate to pick up the phone or drop us an email.