Annual tenant rent reviews

We review rents annually for residents living in our permanent rented housing or care and support homes. Learn more about what this means for you below. 

Rent review 

The government introduced a four-year rent policy that took effect in April 2016. This means that your rent will be reduced by 1% each year until 2020. The reduction will only apply to your rent charge and not to any service charges that you currently pay. This means that if your service charge increases in April, the total amount that you pay may increase or stay the same despite the 1% reduction in your rent.

What this means for you

Depending on which type of rent you pay, the rent review will affect you differently. Please select the sort of rent you pay below.

  • Affordable rent

    Affordable rents are inclusive of a service charge and will not exceed 80% of the market rent for your property. Read more about how these rents are set.

    When calculating your annual rent review, the 1% decrease will be applied to your gross rent (that is rent plus service charge) and will not apply to personal service charges which are paid in addition to the gross rent. Any payable service charges are then deducted to give the new rent.

    Example rent review calculation:

    A weekly Affordable rent accommodation charge of £140.00 might be made up as follows:

    Rent £120.00
    Service charge £14.50
    Gross rent £134.50
    Personal service charge £5.50
    Weekly accommodation charge £140.00

    The 1% decrease will be applied to the gross rent (rent + service charge), which in this example is £134.50. Each year, your service charge may increase, decrease or stay the same, which will not affect the gross rent payable.

      Before review Annual review After review
    Rent £120.00 - £118.37
    Service charge £14.50 +2% £14.79
    Total gross rent £134.50 -1% £133.16

    Any personal service charges will be payable in addition to the gross rent, and are not affected by the 1% decrease. The new weekly accommodation charge will be as follows.

      Before review Annual review After review
    Total gross rent £134.50 -1% £133.16
    Personal service charge £5.50 - £5.50
    Weekly accommodation charge £140.00 - £138.66

    Note: The example above is only for illustration purposes. Your actual weekly or monthly rent and service charge may be different.

  • Social (assured) rent

    There are two types of social tenancy rents: assured rent and fair rent. Read more about how these rents are set. In both cases, the total amount you pay is made up of rent plus any service charges, if applicable.

    Changes to your rent

    If you're paying an assured rent, the 1% decrease will be applied to your weekly or monthly rent charge only. Service charges and personal service charges are not included in the calculation of the new rent and may increase, decrease or stay the same. 

    If your rent is reviewed at a different time in the year, other than April, the 1% reduction will still apply but from the date your rent is due for a rent change.

    An example of a rent review on an Assured rent may look as follows:

    Example Before review Annual review After review
    Rent £120.00 -1% £118.80
    Service charge £14.50 +2% £14.79
    Personal charges £7.00 +2% £7.14
    Total weekly rent £141.50 - £140.73

    Note: The example above is only for illustration purposes. Your actual weekly or monthly rent and service charge may be different.

  • Social (fair) rent

    There are two types of social tenancy rents: assured rent and fair rent. Read more about how these rents are set. In both cases, the total amount you pay is made up of rent plus any service charges, if applicable.

    Changes to your rent

    When setting a fair rent for new lets, we take into account two factors. This first is the target rent for your home. As with assured rents, the target rent is calculated against a government formula, which is based on things like average earnings and the value of the property. The second factor is the rent level set by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), known as the Registered Fair Rent. We will set the rent at the lower of these two factors.

    Every two years we ask the VOA to review the rent level for your property.

    The 1% decrease will apply to your current rent only if the rent set by the VOA is above the target rent for your property. This means that if the registered fair rent is below the target rent, your rent will stay the same and not receive a 1% decrease.

    Service charges and personal service charges are not included in the calculation of the new rent and may increase, decrease or stay the same.

    If your rent is reviewed at a different time in the year, other than April, the 1% reduction will still apply but from the date your rent is due for a rent change.

    For more information you can contact the VOA by telephoning 0300 0501 501.

    Examples

    An example of a rent review on a Fair rent may look as follows:

    Example 1 – Where the VOA registered rent level is below the target rent, your rent will stay the same and not receive a 1% decrease.

    A one bedroom property has the following factors:

    • Rent = £130.00
    • VOA Valuation = £135.00
    • Target rent = £141.43
     Example Before review Annual review After review
    Rent £130.00  1% decrease will not be applied £130.00 
    Service charge £14.50 +2% £14.79
    Personal charges £7.00 +2% £7.14
    Total weekly rent £151.50 - £151.93

    Example 2 – Where the VOA registered rent level is above the target rent, the 1% decrease will apply to your current rent.

    A one bedroom property has the following factors:

    • Rent = £141.43
    • VOA Valuation = £142.00
    • Target rent = £141.43

     

     Example Before review Annual review After review
    Rent £141.43   -1% £140.02 
    Service charge £14.50 +2% £14.79
    Personal charges £7.00 +2% £7.14
    Total weekly rent £162.93 - £161.95

    Note: The example above is only for illustration purposes. Your actual weekly or monthly rent and service charge may be different.

Your questions answered

  • I am on Housing Benefit, what do I do?

    You must immediately tell your council Housing Benefit office about any post-rent review change to your rent before the change takes effect.

    You can do this by taking the rent notification letter to your benefits office. Intentionally failing to report a change in your circumstances that entitles you to less benefit can constitute fraud.

  • I am on Universal Credit, what do I do?

    You must inform Universal Credit that your rent has changed. If you have a Universal Credit online account you can update your details online. If you don’t have an online account you can call the Universal Credit service centre on 0345 600 0723.

  • What happens to my rent if I move?

    If you choose to move to another property, you will pay the advertised rent for that property. This information will be included in the advert. Please contact your housing officer for more information on transfers or mutual exchanges, or read about moving home.

  • Can I appeal against my rent review?

    If you think we have calculated your rent incorrectly or if you have any questions, you can appeal by contacting your housing officer.

    If you still believe that your rent has not been calculated correctly and want to submit a formal appeal, you can contact the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber). The tribunal will not accept cases based on the target rent level or on your personal or financial circumstances. A formal appeal must be raised before the start date of your new rent. This date still applies even if you contact us directly first.

  • What happens if I don't pay my rent?

    Paying your rent is a priority and your responsibility. Missing rent payments could mean you risk losing your home and may also lead to other problems.

Don't see what you're looking for below? You can learn more about rent, service charge and other payments you pay, in our rent and service charge FAQs section. 

Understanding your rent review booklet