Rent Increase 2023/24
Rent Increase FAQs 2023/24
Frequently Asked Questions about rent increases
Why do you increase my rent?
On 17 November 2022 in the Autumn Statement the Government confirmed the rent cap of 7%. This is part of the Government’s support for people with the cost of living by limiting the increases in their rents in social housing. Under current rules, rents could have risen by up to 11.1% – but now they will only be able to rise by a maximum of 7% in 2023-24.
Do you have to increase my rent?
No, we don’t have to increase your rent, we could leave it as it is. However, this would mean spending less on our housing stock. Within our HRA Business Plan for 2023/24 we have budgeted for the rent increase from April 2023, which means we can deliver our promises to build more new homes, improve our neighbourhoods and invest in our existing Council homes. If we keep your rent as it is, we simply cannot deliver on these priorities and we would have to make some tough choices to either build fewer new homes, to invest less in existing Council homes, or do less in your neighbourhoods - and we don’t think this would be fair.
By how much could my rent increase by and how have you calculated this?
As explained above, the Government have set the increase to a maximum of 7%. This is subject to the Council’s budget setting and approval from the Council’s Cabinet. We will write to you at the end of February to confirm how much your weekly rent payment will be for 2023/24.
What will you spend the additional rental income on?
We have set out in our HRA Business Plan what we want to achieve over the next 3 years. The additional money we can raise from rents means we are on track to deliver these objectives. We will keep you informed regularly on how we are performing against the HRA Business Plan in the Annual Report to Tenants and Leaseholders.
Will I see any benefits in my home and local community?
Absolutely, the reason we are applying the rent increase is so that you will see benefits to your own home but also in your wider neighbourhood and estates.
What do I do if I can’t afford the increase?
Our priority is to support tenants to sustain their tenancies and we want to help prevent rent arrears or other debts. We have a dedicated Tenancy Sustainment Service and the Income Management Team works alongside the local Citizens Advice team who are trained to ensure you have maximised your benefits, help you manage your finances and support you through changes to income or circumstances. Please take advantage of this service now to help you prepare well ahead of the rent increase. Your tenancy agreement states that you pay your rent in advance.
Will I lose my home?
There have been a couple of difficult years for us all and ensuring you feel secure in your home is our absolute priority. We want to reassure you that no-one will lose their home because of the cost-of-living crisis. The Income Management Team are working hard to support Cannock Chase tenants through this difficult time and are there for those affected by the current economic crisis. However, your rent still needs to be paid; so, if you or your family’s ability to pay rent has been affected by Coronavirus and the cost of living crisis, please contact the Income Management Team urgently on 01543 462621. We will do all we can to help you find the best solution for your individual circumstances and would suggest that you look at Council web site advice on ‘Help with the cost of Living crisis’
Is my rent always charged over 52 weeks?
Occasionally (about every 5 to 6 years) the rent year has 53 weeks instead of 52 weeks, to keep in line with the calendar year. When this happens, you need to calculate your monthly payment by multiplying by 53, not 52. We will warn you in advance when this occurs.
Can I have a breakdown of how you will spend my rent?
We commit to providing a full breakdown of how we spend your rent over the next 12 months. We will do this in our Annual Report to Tenants and Leaseholders, which we will publish on our website.
Can I have a Rent Statement?
Currently you can view your rent statement at any time online by registering on the Council’s website at ‘Housing Online’. You can see the balance on each of your accounts, along with the current charge details. If you wish to see a full statement, click on the link against the account and it will show you all your transactions. If you do not have a computer, tablet, smart phone, or electronic device you can contact the Income Management Team on 01543 462621 and they will send you a rent statement.
We appreciate that completing a Universal Credit claim can be very stressful and facing weeks of delays for any benefit payment is something we want to avoid. Please be assured you will not have to complete a brand-new claim with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Once we write to inform you about your new rent you will simply need to inform them of this via the DWP portal (under
‘Your Journal’, just upload proof of the letter) or by visiting your local Job Centre after the rent increase has been applied. It is important that you do this soon after 1 April 2023 as we will then be asked to verify the increase on the Landlord portal. Please inform the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in your assessment period.
What if Universal Credit doesn’t cover the rent increase?
If your Universal Credit allowance doesn’t cover the additional rent increase, we strongly recommend that you make an appointment to see a member of our Income Management Team or contact Citizens Advice who can help you budget for the increase or establish if DWP have included your new rent in your assessment.
I am receiving Housing BenefitsIf you are currently receiving Housing Benefit, you do not need to do anything and you will automatically be notified of your revised entitlement.
I don’t claim benefits, do I have to adjust my Direct Debit mandate with my bank, or will you do this automatically for me?
You don’t need to worry; your Direct Debit will be adjusted automatically by our Income Management Team – you don’t have to do anything. When we write to you at the end of February notifying you of your rent increase, we will tell you this.
I don’t pay by Direct Debit, do I have to adjust my standing order with my bank?
You will need to work out your new rent payments to change your standing order or your regular payments.
For example, how to work out monthly rent - Weekly rent of £80.00 x 52 weeks = yearly rent of £4,160, divide by 12 for the monthly rent = £346.67, however this must be paid in advance. We strongly recommend that you contact our Income Management Team who can help work out how much you should be paying and when.
Can my rent ever go down?
It is the Government who sets the national rent formula that Councils and other housing providers are required to follow.
What is the timescale for this rent increase?
The new rent increase notice letters informing you of the rent increase will be sent out to you with a minimum of one month’s notice. We will usually aim to have the letters delivered by the beginning of March 2023.
How does Cannock Chase Council rents compare?
Compared to the average weekly rents for all other Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) who have properties in the Cannock Chase area our rents remain much lower. Our average weekly rent for 2021-22 across all property irrespective of the number of bedrooms was £74.98The most recent benchmarking information we have on rents currently is shown in the below table of rent charges:
If you have any further questions, then please contact the Income Management Team on: Telephone: 01543 462621
Last Updated: 11/01/2023