The rent increase explained

You will have received your annual rent letter w/c 24th February 2020 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 6th April 2020.

Please note the rent totals included in your rent letter do not take into account any Housing Benefit/Universal Credit you may be entitled to.

1/. Why is there a rent increase now?

The government guides any changes in rent made by all HAs, which includes Saffron. There has been a reduction enforced by the government for the past four years, but they have recently announced that they have permitted all housing associations to raise their rents.

2/. Who will be affected by the 2.7% increase?

The majority of rents will be increased by up to 2.7%.

However, in an effort to keep homes affordable we will not be applying the increase if your rent is currently higher than the local housing allowance – a measure used to calculate housing benefit. This applies to over 500 households.

3/. How much does the increase equate to?

The amount will vary, but in general terms, for a two bedroom property on average, your rent may increase by:

  • £2.23 per week for tenants in a social rented property
  • £2.93 per week for tenants in an affordable rented property
  1. How do I calculate my new monthly rent?

This financial year, 6th April 2020 to 4th April 2021, is a 52-week year compared to the financial year 1st April 2019 to 5th April 2020 which was a 53-week year.

To calculate your new monthly amount, you will need to subtract any HB/UC/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 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 just over £750k for Saffron. Based on our assessments and priority, we will use it to make improvements to your homes over the next year.

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 info@saffronhousing.co.uk

If you live on a supported housing scheme you can speak to your support 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 rents@saffronhousing.co.uk 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.

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