Rent Increase and Restructure 2021
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 2021/22. All tenants pay rent, regardless of whether you pay the full charge yourself, receive Universal Credit or Housing Benefit.
For 2021/22 we are proposing an average 1.9% increase in your rent, excluding any changes as a result of the Rent Restructure.
You will be aware that we wrote to you in October 2019 advising you that your rent would be increasing or would be frozen as a result of changes to how we set rents.
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’. The ‘Target Rent’ will increase in line with the annual rent increase agreed each year.
There are 3 ways that your rent could be affected on 1 April 2021 as a result of these changes and the once-a-year rent increase:
|1. Rent will Be Frozen||2. Rent will increase by up to 1.9%||3. Your Rent will increase by between £0 - £10 per month and by 1.9%|
|Your rent will not increase on 1 April 2021 so that your rent matches up with our new policy. This will be reviewed each year.||Your rent would have been frozen as the ‘Target Rent’ is the same as, or less than, what you pay now, but with the 1.9% increase, your rent will now go up to match the new ‘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 in early December 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 may 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 £398.98 (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 in the area and we also have a higher proportion of newer, cottage type dwellings which would account for this. We believe that our rents offer good value for the quality of accommodation and level of service our tenants receive.
Proposed Rent Increase 2021/2022
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 2020/21 is 2.8% 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 (self-contained properties, excluding the rent restructure changes):
|Type||Current Average Monthly Rent||Average with 1.9% Increase|
How affordable is the proposed rent increase?
If you receive Housing Benefit (HB) or Universal Credit (UC), the increase may 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 latest 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 2018/2019, Scottish Housing Regulator August 2019). 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 three-year 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:
- 56 Bathrooms
- 173 Kitchens
- 121 Heating Systems or boilers
- 7 Door Entry
- 6 Close Doors
- 14 Close windows
- 23 House entrance doors
- 80 Windows
- 134 Re-wires
- Painting – 2 houses & 10 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 in early December.
Close Cleaning Service
The close cleaning service is undertaken by contractors hired by Cloch. The service has been introduced to some properties to make sure that all closes are cleaned to a good standard. The average weekly charge for close cleaning for 2020/21 is £4.30. The association recharges the actual cost of the service plus a small administration fee.
We believe that our contractor’s charge for the delivery of the close cleaning service compares well with the amount charged with other Housing Associations for this service.
We are entering year 3 of the current close cleaning contract, the terms of the contract note that the charge will increase by an average of 1.1% for 2021/2022. If this is a service you receive, the new charge is explained in the letter sent you recently.
How can I have my say?
The Board will consider the views from all tenants in deciding on the once-a-year rent increase and service charge review.
You can register your views in the following ways:
• By completing the questionnaire we sent you recently, this can also be done online on our portal “My Cloch” my.clochhousing.org.uk (registration required).
• By writing to the association at our address noted below
• By emailing the association. Our email address is email@example.com
• By sending us a Direct Message on Twitter. Our Twitter account is @ClochHA
• By sending us a message on Facebook: Facebook.com/ClochHA
• By completing the contact form on our website www.clochhousing.org.uk
We will report your views to the Board in January to enable them to make an informed decision. The closing date for responses is Friday 15th January 2021.
- Rent increase consultation begins Mid December 2020
- The consultation closes Friday 15th January 2021
- The decision by Cloch Board Tuesday 26th January 2021
- Notification to all tenants by 1st March 2021
- Proposed rent increase effective from 1st April 2021
All completed questionnaires received 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 is in January. We will write to tenants no later than the 1st of March 2021 in accordance with your tenancy agreement, to advise you of your new rent from 1st April 2021, 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.
Cloch Housing Association Limited
19 Bogle Street,
Telephone: 01475 783637
Fax: 01475 728647
My Cloch: my.clochhousing.org.uk