Housing rent and water charges - April 2017

Changes to your rent charges from 3 April 2017

In line with the government guidance to local authorities that social housing rents should be reduced by 1% each year for four years from 2016, your basic rent will be lower than last year.

This reduction will not apply to water charges you pay unless you have a water meter. The water charge increase is calculated by the water company and sent to us each year in February.

The letter notifying you of the changes to your rent amount including water charges will show you the total amount due for your household.

Your total rent payments

The total amount you are required to pay each week is calculated by adding together the basic rent charge and water charges for the whole year. The total is then divided into 50 equal payments. This amount is the weekly rent we charge you to live in your home. Your rent is payable weekly in advance, each Monday.

There are two rents-free weeks each year. If you are behind and owe rent, these rent free weeks give you the opportunity to catch-up with your payments. The rent free weeks are the last week in December 2017 (week beginning the 25 December 2017) and the last week in March 2018 (week beginning the 26 March 2018). If you do not owe rent, you do not need to pay rent on either of these weeks. 

If you pay your rent by direct debit, your payments are calculated on a monthly basis; therefore we will collect the monthly payment as usual in December 2017 and March 2018. You do not need to do anything.

Basic rent

This is the weekly amount you pay landlord services, including basic repairs and improvements to your home. This varies from property to property and the weekly amount is set in your Formal Notice of Rent Charges letter.

How do these changes affect my housing benefit claim?

If you claim housing benefit, the water charge will not be covered by housing benefit. You are required to make these payments yourself.

Garage rents

If you rent a garage, you will be notified separately about any change in the standard garage rent charge. For more information about garages use the following link Garages www.stevenage.gov.uk/garages

Council Tax

Your council tax is paid separately to your rent. Any changes to your council tax will be notified to you separately. We will send you notification of the revised council tax charges during March 2017

Paying your rent

 

Pay-Online_July17

You will need your nine-digit reference number to make a payment. If you do not have a rent account card with your reference number on it you can apply for a new one by using the following link.

Rent account card

You can also set up a direct to make monthly or fortnightly payments. Use the following link to download a direct debit form.