Pay your rent

Frequently asked questions

What options for rent are being considered?

Based on September 2023 CPI figures, the rent cap for 2024/25 will be 7.7% (6.7% + 1%). This is the increase proposed by the council in response to increased financial pressures (£5.4 million) and required to balance the budget. If the increase is less than this, services will need to be reduced. We are not permitted to raise rents by more than this formula.

When will the proposed increases in rent and service charges come into effect

They will come into effect on 1 April 2024.

Why is my rent increasing?

Increased cost of day-to-day repairs highlighted due to inflation, pay, materials and contracts. Overall, a £2m pressure on responsive repairs.

We have increased the budget for repairs to void properties, there are now many properties needing major repair work before they can be re-let. We are working to reduce the turn around time of these homes and thus reduce rent loss.

We are spending more money on removing damp and mould from properties.

Housing debt continues to be reduced annually with subsequent reduction in interest charges. (£166,000pa saving).

There have also been savings on gas and electricity with a new, better contract, having recently been negotiated. The service charge is for the actual cost of providing these services – should there be any surplus then this goes towards meeting the next years’ costs.  

What happened to the monies not spent on void properties in the COVID lockdowns?

SBC Housing continued to let properties during this period.

Are service charges increasing by 7.7%?

Service charges pay for the services received in sheltered and supported housing and include support, heating and water. They are also paid by tenants who share a communal area such as multi-storey flats and for the Neighbourhood Warden service supplied to all tenants in general purpose properties. The costs of these service are calculated.

The annual cost of the service divided by the number of properties receiving the service by the number of weeks it is received. Some service charges are increasing but to a lesser extent because we have negotiated a better contract for utilities.  Some services have built up a surplus, we have passed on reductions to tenants, minimising increases where we can.

Garage rents will rise by 5%

Homeline charges will rise by 5% 

Supported Housing charges are capped at inflation but these schemes do not cover their costs. However, because they have a surplus from previous years we can reduce the service charges.

Will rent arrears affect services?

We have budgeted for bad debt (debt that needs to be written off) this does not impact on the Housing Service delivery.

What financial support is available to help with bill payments?

You may be entitled to additional financial support, please see our cost of living page.

If you are struggling to pay your rent or have concerns about future payments, please contact you housing officer

How can I let the council know my views?

If you have any comments on the proposed rent increase of 7.7%, email by 4 January 2024.

What happens next?

The rent and service charge proposal will be considered by the Cabinet in February and their recommendations presented to the Full Council for approval. Tenants will then receive letters confirming their new rent and service charge payments.

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