Information about the rent increase from 1 April 2019
Following our rent consultation with tenants, and the assessment by the Link Group Board of budget forecasts, the Board met in January 2019 to discuss the outcome of the consultation and approved an increase of 2.35%.
A separate letter has been sent to all tenants to show the new charges that will be applied from April 2019.
Why do we have to increase your rent?
We do this for a number of reasons.
We need to take into account the financial pressure our tenants face and make sure we have enough income to pay for the things we need to do to keep our properties well maintained. We try to limit the level of the increase to keep our rents as affordable as possible to our tenants.
Rent increase – what you need to know
The difference between your new rent and what you currently pay depends on:
Who sets your rent - (Link or the independent Rent Registration Office)
If you have an old secure tenancy (pre-1989), your rent will continue to be set by the Rent Registration Service every three years. The only change at April 2019 will be in the amount you pay for service charges, which may have gone up or down.
Rents for all other tenants are set by Link in accordance with our rent policy, which is based on a points system.
Any agreements that were put in place, when your property was transferred to Link
Some Link properties came from other housing associations or local authorities via something called a “transfer of engagements”. At the time of the transfer, a restriction on rent increases may have been agreed.
Whether or not your rent has reached our points level for the type of property you live in
In 2003, we revised our rent policy and created a points system to be fairer and more transparent about how we set our rents. Each property is allocated a number of points according to the house type, size and the facilities it has. The number of points does not change unless there have been alterations or improvements to the property, such as the installation of central heating or double-glazing (but not replacement of heating or windows).
Each point has a value in pennies, to calculate the rent we multiply the points by that value.
There are some tenants who moved into their homes before the current rent policy was adopted and as a result some properties have higher or lower rents than the points value.
To bring all the properties in line so that they are being charged the same way we have built an additional allowance to the increase. If your rent is lower than it should be we will add up to an additional 3% to the increase (no more than 5.35% for 2019-20).
If your rent charge is higher than the pointed value, then your rent will be frozen until the annual increases of the other properties catch up.
Whether or not you pay service charges
As well as the basic rent for your home, many tenancies also have an agreement for Link to provide additional services such as grass cutting in common areas, stair cleaning and lighting in common areas.
Where these services are provided, the cost of providing these together with an administration charge is added to your rent. These are known as service charges.
Your increase letter provides you with details of how much of your monthly charge is, basic rent and service charges.
If you are in receipt of Universal Credit
If you are in receipt of Universal Credit, which includes money for your rent, it is essential you advise the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that your rent will be increasing. You should do this through your online Universal Credit account.
Please note, this notification must be made to DWP during the benefit assessment period which includes 01 April 2019, which is the date your rent increases.
If you would like more information on the services provided, or have any questions regarding your rent, please contact the Customer Service Centre on 03451 400 100, option 3 and then 5.