Rent and service charge FAQs

At Great Places we use government guidelines to set your rent each year. This means some of our customers may see an increase in their rent annually, and some may see a decrease. Any changes will be detailed in your tenancy or lease agreement. For more information on what your rent pays for please see below.

Some customers may pay a service charge or may be receiving services as part of the rent that they pay. Some of these services are eligible for Housing Benefit and some are ineligible, meaning Housing Benefit cannot cover these charges. For more information please see below. 

From April 2021 most rents will increase in line with government formulae. The rent increase will allow us to meet the increasing costs to deliver services, carry out repairs, invest in improvements to keep our homes up to date and to a decent standard, provide aids and adaptations and make our homes more energy efficient. This year we plan to spend £11.3 million on repairs, £17.2 million on investment to improve homes and buildings and £0.2 million on aids and adaptations to help households with disabilities.

Rental income provides funding that enables us to manage and maintain your home. Highlights of how we spend your rent can be found in our Customer Annual Report 2020 A Year Like No Other. As an indication last year:

  • We spent £13.5 million in improvements to 1500 of our homes to keep them up to date, safe and to a decent standard.
  • We carried out over 30,000 repairs for our customers with 89.1% of our repairs being genuinely fixed first time.
  • Our customers scored us 8.95/10 for the quality of the repairs service they received.
  • We invested £52 million into building new homes with 229 homes completed and 698 on site.

Social and affordable rents will generally increase by 1.5% in line with the Consumer Price Index which is 0.5% plus 1%. Some rents for other tenures such as market rents are set on different formulas depending on their tenancy agreements. We will write to you at the end of February to confirm what this will mean for you.

This year we plan to spend £11.3 million on repairs, £17.2 million on investment to improve homes and buildings and £0.2 million on aids and adaptations to help households with disabilities.

Our priority is to support customers and we want to help prevent rent arrears occurring as much as you do. Speak to your neighbourhood services managers, customer relations manager or our scheme support colleagues to help you prepare well ahead of the rent increase.

You will not have to complete a brand new claim with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Once we write to inform you of the new rent you will simply need to inform them of this via the DWP portal by April 2021 as we will then be asked to verify the increase on the landlord portal.

If you are a customer in an Independence and Wellbeing scheme and claim housing benefit you do not need to do anything as we will let them know for you.

If your Universal Credit allowance isn’t increased to cover the additional rent increase, we encourage you to get in touch with your neighbourhood services manager or customer relations manager who can help, or signpost you to a partner organisation which can help you budget for the increase.

Don’t worry, your direct debit will be adjusted automatically – you don’t have to do anything. After we write to you at the end of February notifying you of your rent increase, we will adjust your Direct Debit and you will receive information from allpay to confirm your new monthly payments. If you have a repayment plan we will add the additional amount onto your monthly direct debit total. We will amend your new payments in line with the new charge.

The rent notice letters formally informing you of the rent increase will be sent out to you by the end of February 2021. The new rent amount will then apply from 5 April 2021.