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 

In September 2019, the government introduced a new 5 year policy for social housing rent increases. This means that from April 2020, most social housing rents will increase by CPI+1% of the existing rent each year until April 2025. The increase will apply to the rent element of your total rent charge and not the service charge or personal charges. 

What is CPI?
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a figure used to measure inflation. The previous September’s CPI is used to calculate rent increases. In September 2019, CPI was 1.7%. Therefore your rent this year will increase by 2.7% (1.7% + 1%). 

 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

    If you pay an affordable rent, the total amount you pay is made up of rent and service charges. Read more about how these rents are set

    Your initial rent will not exceed 80% of the market rent for your property and will increase by no more than CPI +1% of your existing rent until your tenancy is reassessed at the end of the fixed term period. The 2.7% increase is applied to your gross rent (that is rent plus service charges) and the service charges are then deducted to give the new rent. The personal charges are not included in the calculation of your new rent.

    Example rent review calculation:

      Before review Annual review After review
    Rent £150.00   £154.26
    Service charge £30.00  +2%  £30.60
    Total amount payable £180.00 +2.7% = £4.86 £184.86

     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 2.7% increase 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. 

    If your rent is reviewed at a different time in the year, other than April, the 2.7% increase 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 £150.00 + 2.7% = £4.05 £154.05
    Service charge £ 20.00 + 2% = £0.40 £ 20.40
    Personal charges £ 10.00 + 1% = £0.10 £ 10.10
    Total weekly rent £180.00 Increase £4.55 £184.55

     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 2.7% increase 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 2.7% increase. 

    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 2.7% increase 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 2.7% increase.

    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  2.7% increase will not be applied £130.00 
    Service charge £14.50 +2% = 0.79 £14.79
    Total weekly rent £144.50 - £144.79

    Example 2 – Where the VOA registered rent level is above the target rent, the 2.7% increase will apply to your current rent.
    A one bedroom property has the following factors:

    • Rent = £150.00
    • VOA Valuation = £152.00
    • Target rent = £150.00 
     Example Before review Annual review After review
    Rent £150.00  +2.7% = £4.05 £154.05
    Service charge £20.00 +2% = 0.40 £20.40
    Total weekly rent £170.00 Increase £4.45 £174.45

    Note: The examples above are 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. It is important to report the change as soon as possible, otherwise you might miss out on payments.

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

    You must inform the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) as soon as possible after your rent change has taken effect. 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.
    It is important to report the change as soon as possible after it has taken effect, otherwise you might miss out on payments.

  • 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?

    As part of our new ways of working we’ve introduced a system that will automatically notify you if your rent account has fallen into arrears and an expected payment has not been made. To make the process of paying your rent easier, our notifications will also provide a link for you to register with the new online account as well as the contact details for your housing officer. This new service allows us to notify you about any debt more quickly than we’re able to at present and will reduce the chance of your rent arrears reaching a point at which they cannot be cleared - sign up for your online account here.

    If you do not pay your rent or service charge, or if you fail to keep to an arrangement to pay your arrears, we will take legal action, which could result in you losing your home.

    Falling behind with your payments may also lead to the following problems:

    • A court order can affect your credit rating and you may not be able to borrow money
    • You will have to pay the cost of any court hearing and associated solicitors fees
    • If you are a tenant looking to transfer, the process may be affected by rent arrears
    • We will not allow any mutual exchange to go ahead until you have paid the arrears
    • If you lose your home, your local council may refuse to re-house you on the grounds that you have made yourself 'intentionally homeless'
    • You will still have to repay the arrears even after you have left
    • Banks, building societies or other lending agencies can ask us for references on your payments; a poor reference may affect your eligibility for a mortgage or other loan.

    If you have any concerns about paying your rent or service charge please discuss them immediately with your housing officer so they can be resolved as soon as possible. You can also read more about benefits and money in our budgeting advice section.

 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