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Rent increases from 1 April 2024

This year, the basic rent for houses and flats will be increased by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as it stood on 1 September 2023 +7.7%. We fully understand that any increase to your rent will not be good news with the ongoing cost of living crisis and increase in energy bills and its impact on households.

We have carefully considered the rent increase and believe that to deliver our commitments as set out in the Corporate Plan we need to maximise the money we receive from rents and apply the increase of CPI + 1%. If we keep your rent as it is, we will be unable to deliver our commitments and will have to make some tough choices such as building fewer properties or not building at all, or investing less and doing less in your neighbourhoods. We have ambitions to protect our assets and neighbourhoods and to plan for future generations of your families who choose to live in Stevenage and our homes.

There may be an increase in your service charges and water charges unless you have a water meter. The water charge increase is calculated by the water company and sent to us each year in February.

Service charges may increase but the same formula of CPI + 1% will not apply. We set service charges in line with our Rent and Service Charge Setting Policy. The policy states that we will set charges appropriately to cover the cost of providing the service to you. 

Energy charges will increase significantly as a result of increasing energy costs. We appreciate that this is a difficult time and if you are worried about paying your rent and service charges, contact us on 01438 242666.

Your annual rent notification lets you know of changes to your rent and gives a detailed breakdown of any service or water charges and shows the total amount due for your home.

Council Tax and garage rent increases aren't included in your housing rent or services, they are sent out separately.

Your total rent payments

The total amount you are required to pay each week is calculated by adding together the basic rent charge, water charges, and service charges, if applicable, for the whole year. The total is then divided into 51 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.

If you pay by direct debit your payments are calculated monthly; we will collect payments as usual in December and March. You do not need to do anything.

Basic rent

This is the weekly amount you pay for landlord services and includes basic repairs and improvements to your home. This varies from property to property and is detailed in your formal notice of rent changes letter.

Tenant service charges 

If you live in a flat block, or your home is an independent or flexicare housing scheme, your charges include a contribution towards the upkeep of the communal areas of that building. These charges apply whether you use the communal areas or not.

These charges are shown separately on your rent notice and reflect the actual cost of providing the service.

You can find more information about what is covered on the Tenant service Charges page.

Management fee

Some of our properties are charged a management fee. The fee is calculated using the actual cost of providing and delivering essential and obligatory services in flat blocks by an appointed management agent.

Special Purpose Equipment (SPE) service charge

If you have specialist equipment that has been installed by the council this charge goes toward the service, maintenance, and repair of the equipment. Tenants do not pay for the equipment itself or the cost to install it. If you have three or more pieces of equipment installed, you will only be charged for a maximum of two items.

If the equipment has been fitted for children under 16 years of age or certain young people aged 16 to 20 there will be no service charge to pay.

Equipment includes stair-lifts, hoists, through floor lifts, platform lifts, step lifts, rise & fall sink/basin units, scooter stores, shower toilets, automated garage /window / door entry systems etc.

You may be able to claim additional Housing Benefit to cover all or part of this service charge. You may already be in receipt of payments allocated for any such charges through Universal Credit, PIP, ESA, Attendance Allowance or DLA benefit, if not we may be able to assist with advice or applying for these benefits.

Housing Benefit / Universal Credit

Universal Credit

If you are claiming universal credit you don't need to re-apply when your rent increases. Once you have your formal notice of increase you can let the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) know via their online portal.

Housing Benefit

Heating and water charges are not covered by housing benefits and universal credit housing costs. You will need to make these payments yourself.

Help and Support

If your universal credit doesn’t go up enough to cover the rent increase, we recommend that you make an appointment to see one of our Welfare Benefits and Debt advisers who can help you budget for the increase.

You can call the number below to make an appointment.

Customer Service Centre

Stevenage Borough Council
Ground Floor
Daneshill House

01438 242242