We recently wrote to our tenants with details of this year’s changes to rent and service charges. This page provides more information about the changes and answers some of the questions you may have.
Under the terms of your tenancy, you are entitled to a minimum of one month’s notice to increase your rent and service charges. Due to problems impacting our mailing contractor, our tenants did not receive the letter dated 24 February in time to give you that notice. To resolve this, we are issuing a replacement letter and moving back the date when it will take effect to Monday, 1 May 2023.
We envisage that next year’s increase will occur on 1 April as per usual.
No. In fact, most of our tenants will pay slightly less overall as the increase in your rent and service charge has been delayed.
If you are claiming Universal Credit, you will need to log on to your Universal Credit Journal and click on the section “Tenant’s To Do” and update your rent charges effective from 1 May as soon as possible to avoid delays in your payments. Some or all of your service charge may also be eligible for Universal Credit.
You don’t need to do anything. Your direct debit will change from 1 May.
If you pay your rent by standing order, please change your standing order effective from your first payment on or after 1 May.
Please send a copy of this notice to your local Housing Benefit Office immediately. They will adjust the benefit paid, whether it is paid either to you or direct to the Habinteg. Some or all of your service charge may also be eligible for Housing Benefit.
Please give us a call and we will check. If you have overpaid, we can arrange a refund.
We are sure you will have noticed that everything is getting more expensive. For every pound we planned to spend on repairs and improvements, we now have to spend up to £1.15.
Annual rent increases are normally set at the rate of inflation in September plus 1%. This would have meant a rent increase of 11.1%. The government sets the amount housing associations can increase their rents each year, and this year, it's been set at 7%. This 7% increase is designed to protect tenants from the worst impacts of high inflation. If we had increased the rent by a lower amount, for example 5%, it would have resulted in delays to
planned improvements, and reductions in customer service roles. We want to reassure you that we are doing our best to balance the need for maintenance and improvements with the affordability of rent, and we are committed to carrying out the programme of improvements to your homes that we outlined in our strategy.
If you claim benefits, simply upload the letter to your Universal Credit journal or take it to your housing benefit department before the end of March for processing.
If you pay by standing order, kindly instruct your bank to make the necessary changes.
If you pay by direct debit, we'll take care of adjusting your payment for you.
If you claim Universal Credit, you need to upload your letter to your Universal Credit journal before the end of March for processing.
How can I check my balance?
You can log into your Habinteg Portal account at any time to check your balance. You can also create a new account on the Portal.
Alternatively, you can call us on 0300 365 3100 9am to 5pm on weekdays.
Service charges have gone up due to large increases in gas and electricity prices, which have affected us all, and their impact on communal heating. If you have domestic gas and electricity provided through the service charge, the impact will be even greater.
Habinteg does not make any profit on service charges. This year, we are absorbing around £400,000 worth of increases in services charges to protect our tenants.
Some tenants may be affected by a significant increase in rent and service charges. If your service charge would have gone up by more than £20 per week, we've capped the charge for this year and Habinteg will absorb the extra cost to help ease the burden on your household budget.
Your Neighbourhood Manager and our Rent Accountant have calculated your charge based on scheme costs. If you show them your letter, they'll be happy to explain it to you in detail.
We're here to support you in any way we can. Our Rent Assist team can help you explore your benefits and income options, and we have a Tenant Support Fund that may be able to assist, depending on your circumstances.
You can also reach out to us directly by calling 0300 365 3100 or by emailing us at HereToHelp@habinteg.org.uk