Explaining the 2022/23 Rent Increase

You should by now have received notification of the annual rent review and you will have seen that our rents, in common with other social housing landlords, are going up from April.  This article aims to provide some further explanation and to encourage you to seek help and advice if necessary.  

How much are rents going up?

From April 2022, following the approval of the Association’s Board of Management, Bucks Housing will be increasing its Social Rents by 4.1%.

For a typical two bedroomed property in High Wycombe, this will result in an increase of around £5 per week.

How has the increase been calculated? 

As a social housing provider, we must set and review our rents according to government guidance.  Under this guidance, rent increases are calculated using a measure of inflation known as the Consumer Price Index (CPI).  Rent increases are capped at the rate of CPI in the previous September, plus 1% *.  In September 2021, the CPI rate was 3.1% and the rent increase will therefore be capped at 4.1% (3.1% plus 1%).

* For a small number of our customers, including those living in Key Worker, Shared Ownership or Temporary Accommodation, properties formerly owned by The Betty Messenger Trust or where there is a lease, the rent is calculated as specified in the tenancy agreement, lease or in line with conditions set by the local authority.

Why are you increasing the rent by the full 4.1%?

In making the decision to increase the rents by the maximum allowed, the Association’s Board understands that other household costs are also rising, and that this increase will put pressure on many of our customers’ finances.  However, the Association is also experiencing significant increases in the cost of providing services to you.  This is particularly the case in relation to the responsive repairs and planned maintenance services where we are experiencing cost increases in both labour and materials.

As a not-for-profit housing association, any surplus that we make from rental income is reinvested into repairing and maintaining our homes, providing new homes and seeking to improve our services year on year.

It is also important to remember that Bucks Housing charges Social Rents, rather than the much higher Affordable Rents, charged by most housing associations.  This does mean that the increase in rent will be lower in real terms.

Is there anything I need to do?

If you receive Universal Credit (UC) and are claiming Housing Costs to pay your rent, you must let the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) know that your rent is changing.  You should receive a ‘To Do’ notification in your UC journal during the first week of April.  This should be completed after the change becomes effective, but before the end of your next UC assessment period.  We are aware that a small number of residents do not have an online journal for their UC claim.  Please contact the DWP by telephone if this is your situation.

If you don’t tell the DWP about this change, your award will not be increased to reflect your new rent and you could miss out on benefit that is due to you.  Unfortunately, we are unable to tell the DWP on your behalf, but should you need any help with this task, please contact the Housing Management team who will be happy to assist you.

If you are no longer in receipt of Universal Credit, it would be helpful if you could let us know this.

If you pay your rent by Standing Order, you will need to let your bank know the new rent.  If you pay by Direct Debit, this should increase automatically.

If you receive Housing Benefit (HB), we will let the relevant council HB department know the new rent.  However, if your HB is paid direct to you, you should notify them of the new rent.

What help / support is available to me?

Anyone who is worried about the increase and / or their ability to pay the rent should contact our Housing Team on 01494 480340. Our staff will work with you to ensure that you are maximising your income and will make you aware of any other funding that may be available to you.  If you are concerned, please do not wait until the increase in April, but contact us now.  We will be happy to offer help and support where we can.

2022-02-24T10:36:12+00:00February 23rd, 2022|

Storms, floods and winter weather

We have all seen what effects the weather can have on our homes, and with storms Dudley and Eunice hitting the UK, it’s a good idea to stay safe and protect your belongings.  This flier has been produced by Thistle Insurance Services and it provides some safety tips and advice to prevent flood damage, as well as information on the My Home Contents Insurance Scheme.

2022-02-17T15:42:49+00:00February 17th, 2022|
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