Rent and service charge changes 2024-25 - information and FAQs

Information about changes to your rent and service charges and why this happening, how we use your rent and support available if you are struggling to pay your rent.

Rent change from April 2024

Each year we need to set a rent that is as fair as possible for residents and means we can keep on providing and investing in our resident homes and services.

This is always a difficult decision and increasing rent for our residents is not a decision we take lightly. Our priority is to provide safe, good quality homes and support to residents and the costs of doing this have risen in many areas, such as repairs, at a much higher rate than inflation.

This means we have taken the difficult decision to increase rents in line with the Government’s rent setting policy which is an increase of 7.7% from April 2024. If you are a shared owner your rent will increase by 9.4% as per your agreement.

In coming to this decision, the Brigher Places Board consulted with the Resident Engagement Panel and looked in detail at the implications of not applying the full rent increase.  We felt that in order to keep providing  quality services to residents and  increase investment in our existing homes, a rent increase was required.

The state pension will increase by 8.5% in April. Most other benefits will increase in line with inflation.  So, if you use Housing Benefit, Universal Credit or another benefit to pay your rent, you will see these payments rise from April.  However we understand that many residents will be concerned about how to afford their rent alongside other outgoings.  If this is you, there are ways we can help.

We are here to help

 

 

Your rent increase explained

Social housing rents are set in line with the government’s rent standard. This allows rent increases up to a maximum of 1% above the Consumer Price Index (CPI) each September.   CPI is a measure of inflation which shows changes in the price of goods and services. In September 2023, the CPI was 6.7% so adding 1% brings the maximum rent increase to 7.7%.

Shared Ownership rents are linked to the Retail Prices Index (RPI)  Landlords are allowed to increase rent in line with RPI plus 0.5%.  The RPI in September 2023 was 8.9%.

How we use rent income

As a not-for-profit housing association the rent increase means we can continue support services for residents, keep improving our repairs service and maintain and improve properties to provide safe and warm homes. It also means we can invest in energy efficiency measures in resident homes to reduce their energy costs and continue to build much needed affordable homes in Bristol and the surrounding area.

In 2024/25 we plan to invest £7.8m in improving and maintaining our existing homes.

What happens next

We will send all residents a ‘notice of rent change 2024 -2025’ letter by the end of February that details your rent payment from April 2024. It will also have details about changes to any service charges you pay.

The  letter will include details of what you need to do about your rent change if you receive housing benefit, universal credit or pay rent by standing order or direct debit.

You can also read our rent and service charge FAQs for more information about what you need to do.

Your proposed service charges explained

Your ‘notice of rent change 2024-2025′ letter includes confirmation of any service charges you will pay from April 2024. We have looked at all our costs and made savings where we can however increases in repairs and energy costs may mean your service charges have  gone up.

If you have any questions about your proposed service charges, please email engagement@brighterplaces.co.uk by Wednesday 6 March so we can talk it through with you. If we then make any changes to your service charges we will confirm this in writing before April 2024.