Rent Increase from 5th April 2021

Rent Increase from 5th April 2021

Rent Increase from 5th April 2021

This week all tenants will receive a letter detailing the rent increase of 1.5% that comes into effect from 5th April 2021.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much are you increasing my rent and how have you calculated this?
All rents will increase by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) +1%. The rent increase of 1.5% will
apply from 5th April 2021.

Why are you increasing my rent?
Each year the government provides limits on the annual rent increases for social housing, and for 2021-22 the limit is 1.5%.

We have given the rent increase a lot of thought and discussed the issue with our board and Tenant Panel at length. We believe that in order to deliver our commitments to tenants we need to maximise the money we receive from rents and apply the increase of 1.5%.

Do you have to increase my rent?
No, however if we do not increase your rent in line with the government legislation there would be a negative impact on the services we currently deliver. Increasing rents will mean we can deliver our promises to you to continue investing in your homes and communities.

Do the same increases apply to service charges?
Service charges may increase but the same formula of CPl+1% will not apply. Our policy states that we will set charges appropriately to cover the cost of providing services to you with no hidden charges. If you pay a service charge the breakdown of costs will be included in your rent increase notification letter so you can understand what the payments cover.

What will you spend the additional rental income on?
The additional money we will raise from rents allows us to continue the services we currently
provide and to continue investing in your homes and communities.

What can I do if I can’t afford the increase?
Our priority is to support tenants to sustain their tenancies and we want to help prevent rent
arrears occurring as much as you do. We have a dedicated Tenancy Sustainment Team
working alongside the Income Team who are trained to ensure you have maximised your
benefits, help you budget to manage your finances and support you through changes in
circumstances. Please take advantage of this service now to help you prepare well ahead of
the rent increase. Call 01452 833217 or email tenancy.sustainment@gch.co.uk.

Can I have a breakdown of how you will spend my rent?
We commit to providing a full breakdown of how we will spend your rent over the next 12
months. We will do this in our annual report to tenants and we regularly share our performance here.
The graph below shows how we spent each pound of your rent in 2020/2021:

Pound with labels showing different spend amounts


I claim Universal Credit, will I have to re-apply and will this result in delays of my rent being paid and accumulating rent arrears?

Please be assured you do not need to complete a brand new Universal Credit claim with the
Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). You will need to advise the DWP of your new rent amount via the ‘To Do’ list on your online claim or by calling 0800 3285644 if you have a telephone claim. This must be done on or after 5th April 2021.

If the DWP do not increase your housing costs to cover your new rent charge please contact us and make an appointment to see one of our specialist Tenancy Sustainment Advisors who can help you budget.

I claim Housing Benefit to cover my rent – what do I need to do?

If you have your housing benefit paid directly to us, we will notify the Council of your new rent
and charges where applicable. If your circumstances have not changed, your Housing Benefit
will continue to cover your new rent. The Council will notify you separately of your new
entitlement amount.

I don’t claim benefits, do I have to adjust my Direct Debit mandate with my bank?
Your Direct Debit will be adjusted automatically in time for the change – you don’t have to do
anything. If your Direct Debit is changed we will write to you or if you have signed up to receive email notifications from Allpay you will receive an email detailing the change.

Where can I get debt and budgeting advice from?
We have a dedicated Tenancy Sustainment Team working alongside the Income team who are trained to ensure you have maximised your benefits, help you manage your finances and
support you through changes in circumstances. We encourage you to take advantage of this
service. Call 01452 833217 or email tenancy.sustainment@gch.co.uk.

Alternatively, advice and support is available from the local Citizens Advice Bureau or charities such as Step Change and the National Debtline