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 Monday, 15 October 2018
 
Renting a Home
 

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Your Rent and Service Charges

 
 
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Your Rent

Connect's tenants and shared owners are responsible for paying rent. Rent helps us to pay for the services we provide, including repairs to homes. If tenants have rent arrears then it has an impact on the services we provide.

How do we decide how much rent is paid?

Rent is set annually in April based on a formula provided to us by the Government. It takes into account the value of the areas, average income levels and our costs.

What is a Service Charge?

A service charge is an additional charge, on top of the weekly rent, payable by tenants, generally, for certain types of services received. These services may include:

  • Heating of communal areas
  • Lighting of communal areas
  • Cleaning of communal areas
  • Security
  • Landscaping
  • Maintenance and servicing of fire alarm systems, door entry controls, lifts, communal TV aerials, CCTV
  • Maintenance and/or hiring of laundry equipment
  • White goods (items that are fitted in kitchens in adapted homes, like a fridge freezer, washing machine or cooker)
  • Depreciation of items that will need replacing in the future administration charges

We aim to:

  • Adopt a consistent approach in the calculation and recovery of the costs of providing services
  • Provide good value for money and to seek to recover the full costs incurred in providing services
  • Maintain service charges at an affordable level
  • Give clear, easy to understand information about the level of services we provide and the cost of the services
  • Involve you in the monitoring of quality and frequency of services

Types of Service Charges

Service charges may be fixed or variable, depending on conditions of the tenancy agreement or lease.

All our new tenants sign up on fixed service charges. Tenants who are signed up on a variable service charge will be informed at the time and what that means going forward.

Fixed service charges are fixed by the landlord according to their own estimates and costs. If these estimates are too low, the landlord would have to fund the deficit. If the estimate is too high, the landlord would keep the surplus.

Personal Charges

Some schemes may charge for the cost of heating and hot water to the home. If you are charged a personal charge you will not receive a gas or water bill. The personal charge is not eligible for housing benefit; this means if you are charged a personal charge, you must pay it each week.

How service charges are calculated?

Service charges are estimated at the beginning of each year based on previous costs and estimated spend. Service charge budgets are prepared carefully to make sure that they are realistic and reasonable.

If there has been a significant increase in your service charge, we will inform you of the reasons with your annual rent notification.

When is your rent due?

You rent is due in advance every Monday unless you have made specific arrangements to pay monthly. To do this please contact us on 0300 5000 600. If you wish to pay monthly you will be expected to pay a month in advance.

How can you pay your rent?

Click here for details on how to pay your rent.

What if you are not happy with the rent and service charges?

If you are not happy with your rent or service charge, or both, you should speak to us in the first instance by ringing 0300 5000 600. We will try to resolve the issue.

If you are still not satisfied, you can contact the Rent Assessment Committee who can have a look at the charges for you. Details of their contact is provided with your rent variation notice.

What if you are not happy with the services provided?

We always aim to deliver a high quality service that is also value for money. If you believe the service is not being delivered in line with the contract please contact us on 0300 5000 600. We will work with you to try to resolve the issue.

If you remain unhappy you may submit a formal complaint which can be done by telephone or in writing.

What if you are having problems paying your rent and service charge?

Our Money Matters service provides free confidential support and advice on all money management and welfare benefit issues to help you take control of your finances.  Call the team on 0300 5000 600 or email moneymatters@connecthousing.org.uk.

Our Money Matters Service can help you:

  • Look at your budget and access debt advice
  • Access benefits you may be entitled to
  • Lower your energy bills, improve efficiency and pay off fuel debts
  • Understand welfare reform and changes to benefits
  • Help with work search, access volunteer or apprenticeship opportunities

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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