Housing Rent Charges
Rent increases from 3 April 2023
Rent is increased each year in April. The rise in rents is normally calculated using the Consumer Price Index (CPI) +1%, this year the government has capped the increase to 7%. If we don’t pass this increase on, we won’t be able to deliver our commitments and would have to make some tough choices when it comes to building new properties or investing less in your neighbourhoods. We have ambitions to protect our assets and neighbourhoods and to plan for future generations of our 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.
If you pay tenant service charges these may also increase each year and are set to cover the cost of providing the service to you.
Council Tax and garage rent increases aren't included in you housing rent or services, they are sent out separately.
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, which is sent to you four weeks before any changes come into effect.
Your total rent payments
The total rent you pay to us includes the basic rent and water charges for the entire year. This is divided into 50 equal payments giving you two rent catch-up weeks each year in December and March, provided you are not in rent arrears. If you do have rent arrears this is your chance to get back on track with your payments.
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.
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.
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
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.
Heating and water charges are not covered by housing benefit 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