You will shortly receive a letter which explains your rent charge for the coming financial year. This new charge will apply from April 2020.
As well as this formal, legal notification, we wanted to ensure all residents had more information on the change. We also wanted to remind you about how we can support you with your finances and budgeting.
What is happening with my rent?
This year, for the first time since 2015, your rent is likely to have increased if you pay a social or affordable rent to us. The maximum rent increase anyone will receive is inflation, plus 1%.
Why has my rent increased?
Each year we spend around £6 million on repairs and improvements to our 3600 homes. We also aim to build 300 new homes over the next five years, to help the many hundreds of people wanting a new, affordable home in the area.
Collecting your rent is what enables us to fund these improvements and new homes. The Regulator of Social Housing has recognised this by issuing new guidance to all social landlords allowing a rent increase. This is why we have increased rents for the coming year.
We are a not-for-profit organisation, meaning we have no shareholders who receive dividends. This also means money is put back into homes and services accessed by you.
What if I am claiming housing benefit or Universal Credit?
If you are claiming part or full housing benefit towards your rent, you DO NOT need to do anything, as we have written to the local authority about the change.
If you are claiming Universal Credit, please make sure you tell the Department for Work and Pensions that your rent has changed. This will ensure they recalculate the money you receive. Please do this on the day that your rent changes and NOT before this date.
Do I need to do anything if I pay my rent via Direct Debit?
More than 50% of customers pay their rent via Direct Debit. The new rent payment amount will automatically update, so you won’t need to inform your bank or building society or complete any forms.
If you don’t yet pay by Direct Debit and would like to, you can call us on 01626 322722 to set up it on the phone. Setting up a Direct Debit is quick and easy, and we can arrange to take payment on the day that suits you best.
What should I do if I’m worried about the increase?
We run a free Head Start service to help check your income and help you budget. Since April last year, we have helped residents claim more than £79,000 in benefits and other financial support they did not know they were entitled to. We run a free Head Start service, to help check your income and help you budget. We work closely with the Department for Work and Pensions, Citizens’ Advice, local foodbanks and other partners to support customers in financial difficulty or in need of some help.
Paying your rent must always be the priority, otherwise you risk losing your home. If you are having problems, we would like to work with you so please keep in touch. We’ll help where we can.
To access our Head Start service, you can call us on 01626 322722 Or e-mail us at email@example.com
What if I think the calculation is wrong?
If you have a question about how the charge has been calculated, call our finance team on 01626 322765.
How can I check my rent account?
The quickest and best way to check your rent account balance and your payment history is at My Teign Account. You can log on at any time via your mobile, tablet, laptop or PC.