What’s happening with our rents this year?
We have written to residents to let them know what their rents and service charges will be from 6 April 2020.
Our tenants get excellent value for money for rent they pay. The social rents we charge are on average lower than other housing associations in Plymouth and amongst the lowest in the country.
The majority of our social rents are at least 40% lower than it would be to rent the same property from a private landlord.
How we set our social rents
We set our social rents using a formula from the Government. For the past four years all our rents, except shared ownership, decreased by 1% each year.
The Government has recognised this could not continue as the costs of repairing homes and providing our services has increased during this time. So they have allowed us to increase social rents by 2.7%. This is based on the Consumer Prices inflation index of 1.7% at September 2019, plus 1%.
Any service charges are in addition to the social rent and can go up or down each year depending on what we estimate the cost of providing the services will be. This will include any adjustment to reflect the actual cost of services compared to what we estimated for the previous period.
Rents this year
From April 2020 most tenants will see a 2.7% increase in rent.
As the majority of tenants have had their rent reduced by 1% per year for the past four years, it means rents will still be lower than four years ago.
The increase will apply to social rents, affordable rents on homes built within the past 10 years, some newly acquired homes, shared ownership rents and most garage and parking space rents.
Some of our tenants in older properties also pay an affordable rent which include any service charges, and although set higher than our social rents, are still 20% lower than if rented privately. These tenants will see a decrease of up to 5% in their total rent and service charge. This will reduce the difference between our affordable and social rents on older homes.
How will I know what type of rent I am paying?
All tenants will get a letter explaining their rent and service charges and what the changes mean for them.
Rents invested back into Plymouth
As we’re a social landlord, we don’t have to pass profits to shareholders. Money from rents is invested back into looking after our homes, estates and communities for existing tenants, and building new homes for future residents.
Over the past 18 months, we’ve invested over £7M into refurbishment works around the city which have either already been completed or will be completing in 2020, including: Exeter Street, High Street, Torridge Way, Keat Street, Artillery Place, Teats Hills flats, Budshead Road and Ipswich Close. These kind of works transform a block or neighbourhood and ultimately improve the city.
And of course, we also build new homes. By the end of 2020 we will have built 864 new homes for Plymouth at a cost of over £110M since 2011 across 12 different sites including North Prospect, Southway and Whitleigh, and building is ongoing in and around Plymouth.
That’s the difference we make as a landlord – we give back to help people in Plymouth.
If you have any questions about out rents or service charges, please take a look at our Rents and service charges FAQs.