Changes to my Rent Notice

Changes to Tenants Rent Notice (De-pooling)

Frequently Asked Questions

We have sent a leaflet to all tenants advising them of the changes to how the rent notice will look following the de-pooling of rents that will come into effect as of 1st April 2018.

In March 2018 tenants will be sent their usual rent notice (rent increase letter). The notice will inform them of their new rent & service charges for the coming year.

What is de-pooling?

De-pooling is a process whereby the landlord stops sharing the costs of these services amongst all its tenants and introduces a separate service charge payable only by those tenants who receive these services. The vast majority of service charges are eligible for housing benefit and Universal Credit.

 

Why is my rent notice changing?

The Welsh Government require all landlords to change the way they calculate and show charges to each tenant to make it clearer to understand what services they pay for as part of their rent, making it-

  • Open
  • Clearer
  • Fairer

 

So what changes will I see?

Tenants rent notices will show the weekly basic rent and also the breakdown of service charges identified in connection with their home. These service charges have currently been included within their rent but not clearly identified.

 

What are service charges?

A service charge is a payment made by a tenant or leaseholder for services received in connection with the occupation of his or her home. An example of a service we provide to our tenants and leaseholders could be for-

  • Communal Lighting (this relates to lighting in communal areas- Flat stairwells, sheltered, schemes not street lighting on highways or main roads as this is provided by Monmouthshire County Council and is paid for through council tax.
  • Grounds Maintenance- Grass cutting, shrub bed maintenance as one or two examples
  • Lift Maintenance- For example in a sheltered scheme a lift may be in place
  • Testing of Fire Alarms (In communal areas, fire alarms in flat stairwells, sheltered schemes, communal halls etc)

 

I live in a house/bungalow I don’t have communal lighting or the examples mentioned in the leaflet?

The majority of service charges will relate to tenants living in flats and sheltered schemes.

These are only examples of service charges and these will vary depending on whether you live in a house, bungalow, flat or sheltered scheme. Services won’t need to be separated where there are no services in place.

 

Will my rent go up?

Welsh Government sets the rents for housing associations and usually there is a rent increase every April linked to inflation. Tenants rent will not increase as a result of the de-pooling changes, however service charges are based on the actual costs of the service, so service charges could go up or down in the future.  

 

How do I pay for these service charges?  

This will take effect on the 1st of April 2018, continue to pay your rent as normal, we will send you further information in the next few months.

 

I don’t pay rent?

All tenants pay rent, your rent may be fully covered or partially covered by Housing Benefit or Universal credit.

 

I claim Housing benefit will this cover my service charges?

The majority of service charges are covered by housing benefit (called eligible service charges) and we will be working closely with the Housing Benefit department to make them aware of these changes. A list of all Service charges with a description will be included in your rent notice.

 

I claim Universal Credit will this cover my service charges?

The majority of service charges are also covered by Universal Credit.

 

Is there anyone I can speak to about this if I need further information?

Lauren Lewis is the Project Manager who can assist with any further queries. Lauren can be contacted on 01495 745765 or lauren.lewis@monmouthshirehousing.co.uk

Customer Services Advisors on 0345 677 2277 or, email

customerservices@monmouthshirehousing.co.uk

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