The rent increase explained

You will have received your annual rent letter week commencing 28th February 2022 which may include information about your rent increasing. To help understand the rent increase and answer any questions you may have, we have created a video and have some frequently asked questions.

Click below to watch our CEO James Francis explain the changes to your rent from 4th April 2022.

Please note the rent totals included in your rent letter do not take into account any Housing Benefit/Universal Credit/Saffron Rebate you may be entitled to.

1/. Why is there a rent increase?

The government guides any changes in rent made by all housing associations, which includes Saffron. They have permitted that all housing associations can raise their rents by CPI+1% for the 2022-23 financial year. Shared ownership rents are increased by RPI + 0.5% resulting in an increase of 5.4%

2/. What does CPI+1% mean?

CPI stands for the Consumer Price Index. It is a measure of inflation that is made every month. We are required to use September’s CPI which was 3.1%.

Saffron are therefore permitted to increase rents by up to 4.1% (September CPI plus an additional 1%). This is only applicable to social and affordable rent housing.

3/. Who will be affected by the increase?

The majority of rents will be increased by CPI+1%.

We want your home to be affordable for you, so in a small number of cases we will either not be applying the increase if your rent is currently higher than the Local Housing Allowance, or the increase may be less than 4.1% to ensure the new rent you are paying will not be higher than the Local Housing Allowance. (We use the LHA rates as a cap for our rents. You will find further details about this in your rent letter)

4/. How much does the increase equate to?

Generally, for a two-bedroom property on average, your rent may increase by:

  • £3.69 per week for tenants in a social rented property
  • £4.51 per week for tenants in an affordable rented property

Please note that the above information is solely based on the rent element and is not inclusive of the service charges where applicable.

5/. How do I calculate my new payable monthly rent?

This financial year, 4th April 2022 to 2nd April 2023, is a 52-week year.

To calculate your new monthly amount, you will need to subtract any Housing Benefit/Universal Credit/Saffron rebate you may be entitled to from the new Gross weekly amount, then multiply this by 52 weeks and divide by 12 payments.

6/. Are my service charges going to increase?

If you have a service charge, then you are likely to notice an increase which is higher than you are used to because of expected increases in inflation and cost of energy.

Changes in service charges do vary depending on whereabouts you live and your individual tenancy or lease agreement.

Any service charge increase will be outlined in your letter.

7/. What is Saffron going to do with the extra money?

We understand the rent increase comes at a time when there is an overall cost of living that could be really challenging, but we need to increase the amount of money we spend on maintaining and improving your homes which will include making them more energy efficient. The rent increase will generate vital additional income helping us to achieve that.

We are committed to providing the best possible value for money for every pound of rent we receive. As we make plans to deliver our new strategy in the spring, it is important to us that we openly share with you where every penny goes.

8/. Who can help me if I have concerns?

Once you have received your rent letter and you know what any changes will be to you, you can contact Saffron and speak to us. Our Income Team can offer help and advice about any concerns you may have about paying your rent or service charge. Please email info@saffronhousing.co.uk or call 01508 532000.

If you have a specific query about your service charges, please email rentandservicecharge@saffronhousing.co.uk or call 01508 532000.

If you live on a supported housing scheme you can speak to your Wellbeing Coordinator.

From April, we may be able to offer support to tenants who are not in receipt of Housing Benefit or Universal Credit Housing Element and may have concerns about meeting the increase in rent. We will have more information on our website from April.

If you are struggling to pay your rent, you may also want to apply to see if you are entitled to any support from Universal Credit. Benefit eligibility is partly relative to your household income not just your work status.

We are working in partnership with an organisation called Your Own Place to offer tenancy and independent living skills workshops for tenants. The workshops cover a wide range of topics, such as – saving and budgeting, self-care, wellbeing, and digital skills. If you would like to benefit from one of the workshops, please contact us if you would like to find out more.

We also have a free and completely confidential Tenant Support & Wellbeing Service to help tenants with a number of issues including managing debt. The service is available 24/7 with specialist advisors on hand. For more information call 0330 094 5593.

In addition, there are a number of other organisations who can help you with money advice and support. Please speak to your Neighbourhood Officer who can help you speak to the right people. Or you may like to contact direct:

Pay by Direct Debit

Direct debit is available if you do not receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, which is paid direct to Saffron. If you have access to a computer, you can fill in and return the direct debit mandate found here to rents@saffronhousing.co.uk by email. Alternatively, you can either print off and return the mandate to us or contact us on 01508 532000 who will arrange for your Income Officer to call you who will process this request for you.

Payment dates will be either weekly, fortnightly or monthly. You must continue to make payments yourself until you receive confirmation from us that your direct debit instruction has been processed. If you currently pay by standing order and you would like to change it to direct debit, it is your responsibility to cancel the standing order with your bank.

Tenant Portal

Don’t forget you can pay your rent and check your balance 24/7 using the tenant portal. For more information on what the portal offers and how to register, go to the ‘Do more online’ page on our website here.

 

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