The rent you pay covers:
We set the ‘Net Rent’ element of your rent according to a formula set by the Government, which calculates a “target rent” for every home. This is based on the value of the property, the size of the property and average earnings in the area. Your rent is moving towards the target over a period of up to 10 years.
If your Net Rent is currently below the target your rent will increase this year by inflation as at September of the previous year plus ½% plus £2 per week, provided this does not take your Net Rent above the target rent level.
If your Net Rent is at the target your yearly increase will be inflation plus ½%. If your Net Rent is currently above the target your rent will not increase this year.
All Circle 33 service charges reflect the actual cost of the services which are provided. In December each year letters are sent to all residents giving a detailed breakdown of the proposed service charges which will come into effect from the following April.
This letter is also an opportunity to consult on the charges, giving residents the opportunity to make comments or raise queries concerning the charges prior to their introduction. The breakdown contains the estimated costs for providing the services, as well adjustment for any over or under-spend relating to the previous financial year.
In February each year tenants receive a Rent Notification letter which states the confirmed rent and service charge increase which will apply from April of that year.
In September each year tenants are sent details of the actual service charge related expenditure against budget for the previous financial year and the difference between the two figures is then included as either a credit or debit within the next service charges calculated.
We are required to give you 4 weeks notice of any rent change. We will write and tell you of your new rent at least 1 month before any new rent takes effect.
We will only increase your rent once a year and the proposed new rent will change from April each year for Assured tenants and the anniversary of the tenancy for Secure tenants (where the tenancy began before 1 January 1989). As your tenancy is weekly, the new rent will begin on a Monday.
If you do not agree and you do not want to discuss it directly with us, you may refer the rent increase notice to your local Rent Assessment Committee before the date of the proposed new rent (contact the Income Team if you need more information on this).
To apply to the Rent Assessment Committee you must apply using the form headed Application referring a Notice proposing a new rent under an Assured Periodic Tenancy or Agricultural Occupancy to a Rent Assessment Committee. You can obtain this form from a rent assessment panel or law stationer.
Your rent is due weekly in advance every Monday from the start of your tenancy. You can pay fortnightly or monthly but you need to ensure that you pay in advance. For monthly tenancies, your rent is due on the 1st Monday of each month following the commencement of your tenancy.
You can pay rent in any of the following ways:
If you have a low income, you may be entitled to benefits including financial help with your housing costs by claiming Housing Benefit. You can get a Housing Benefit application form from your local office or by contacting your local Housing Benefit Office. We will be pleased to advise you how to apply. Do not delay in applying as Housing Benefit can take 6 weeks to be paid. If you are uncertain, you should still make a claim for Housing Benefit.
If your income decreases, you may be entitled to benefits including financial help with your housing costs by claiming Housing Benefit. You can get a Housing Benefit application form from your local office or by contacting your local Housing Benefit Office. We will be pleased to advise you how to apply. Do not delay in applying as Housing Benefit can take 6 weeks to be paid.
If you are uncertain, you should still make a claim for Housing Benefit. If you are receiving Housing Benefit and your income changes you must tell the Council’s Housing Benefit team to make sure you are receiving the correct amount. If you claim too much then you will have to repay and may face legal action.
If you can’t pay the rent, you should contact your Income Officer as soon as possible. If we know there is a problem, we can often help you. If you delay it will often lead to the problem becoming more serious with more serious consequences.
You should not ignore any letters which we send you. The earlier you contact us, the easier it is for us to help.
If you don’t pay your rent we will contact you. We will treat you fairly and sympathetically, but we expect you to take steps to clear your debt. Remember – it is much easier to clear a small debt than one that has become much larger because you didn’t get help. Your Income Officer can offer help and advice on managing your debt through debt counseling and other ways. We will give you every opportunity to make an arrangement to clear the arrears, however should the arrangement be broken, we will commence legal action to recover the debt.
If you continually fail to pay your rent, we will make an application to court where we will ask for possession of your home and this may lead to your eviction.
Benefit changes are coming in April 2013
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