You will have received your annual rent letter week commencing 22nd February 2021 which may include information about your rent increasing. To help understand the rent increase and answer any questions you may have, we have created a video and have some frequently asked questions.
Click below to watch our CEO James Francis explain the changes to your rent from 5th April 2021.
Please note the rent totals included in your rent letter do not take into account any Housing Benefit/Universal Credit/Saffron Rebate you may be entitled to.
1/. Why is there a rent increase?
The government guides any changes in rent made by all housing associations, which includes Saffron. They have permitted that all housing associations can raise their rents by 1.5% for the 2021-22 financial year.
2/. Who will be affected by the increase?
The majority of rents will be increased by 1.5%.
We want your home to be affordable for you, so in a small number of cases we will either not be applying the increase if your rent is currently higher than the Local Housing Allowance, or the increase may be less than 1.5% to ensure the new rent you are paying will not be higher than the Local Housing Allowance. (We use the LHA rates as a cap for our rents.)
3/. How much does the increase equate to?
Generally, for a two-bedroom property on average, your rent may increase by:
4/. How do I calculate my new payable monthly rent?
This financial year, 5th April 2021 to 3rd April 2022, is a 52-week year.
To calculate your new monthly amount, you will need to subtract any Housing Benefit/Universal Credit/Saffron rebate you may be entitled to from the new Gross weekly amount, then multiply this by 52 weeks and divide by 12 payments.
5/. What is Saffron going to do with the extra money?
The past year has been challenging for many people due to the pandemic. The different restrictions put in place by the government has meant we haven’t been able to carry out our core business in the usual way and have therefore received less income than we would normally.
This, along with the information we have on your home tells us that we want to increase the amount of money we spend on maintaining and improving them.
The rent increase will generate additional income helping towards us investing in your home.
6/. Who can help me if I have concerns?
Once you have received your rent letter and you know what any changes will be to you, you can contact Saffron and speak to a member of our team in the usual way – by calling 01508 532000 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you live on a supported housing scheme you can speak to your Wellbeing Coordinator.
However, you may need to consider how you are going to budget for the rent increase. If you are struggling to pay your rent, you may want to apply to see if you are entitled to any support from Universal Credit. Benefit eligibility is partly relative to your household income not just your work status.
There are a number of organisations who can also help you with money advice and support
Pay by Direct Debit
Direct debit is available if you do not receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, which is paid direct to Saffron. If you have access to a computer, you can fill in and return the direct debit mandate found here to email@example.com by email. Alternatively, you can either print off and return the mandate to us or contact us on 01508 532000 to request a mandate be posted to you.
Payment dates will be either weekly or the 15th of each month. You must continue to make payments yourself until you receive confirmation from us that your direct debit instruction has been processed. If you currently pay by standing order and you would like to change it to direct debit, it is your responsibility to cancel the standing order with your bank.
Don’t forget you can pay your rent and check your balance using the tenant portal. For more information on what the portal offers and how to register, go to the ‘Do more online’ page here.