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We’re a registered social housing provider which means the way we set most rents is regulated and follows a government formula to limit increases. 

Depending on when your home was built and how it was funded, rents can vary from around 50-60% of local market rents (known as social rents), to around 80% of local market rents (known as affordable or sub-market rents). Your tenancy agreement and rent increase letter will explain which type of rent you have. 

The government formula is CPI (consumer price index) plus 1%. The inflation rate in September each year is used for this calculation. 

As well as this formula, there are caps, or maximum rents for each type of property and area. Each year we carefully consider rent increases to ensure we keep rents affordable, whilst ensuring we cover our costs. 

We review rents and service charges every year and our aim when we do this is to strike the right balance between covering the costs of providing the services you want and need, and the impact the rent increase has on you.
This year, most of our rents will go up by 7.7% from 1st April 2024.

Here are the types of rent at Raven and how rents are calculated. Your individual rent letter will confirm what rent type you have.

Social and Affordable Rents

If you’ve got a Social or Affordable rent type, your rent is governed by the Rent Standard. The Regulator for Social Housing decides how these should be set and we must comply with this. The Regulator says that these rents must not increase by more than the September 2023 Consumer Price Index (CPI), also known as inflation, plus 1%. The CPI in September 2023 was 6.7%, plus 1% gives us the rent increase of 7.7% from April 2024.

Any part of your rent and charges that include fixed service charges will also increase by the same amount as your rent; this increase is to cover the cost of providing these services. In some cases, the annual rent increase would mean that your new affordable rent amount would be more than the Local Housing Allowance limit for your area (Housing Benefit limit). We choose to cap your rent at the Local Housing Allowance limit to keep it affordable. If you have an Affordable Rent type and notice that the increase is less than 7.7%, this is why.

You can check the Local Housing Allowance rate for your area here.

 

Fair Rent

If you’ve got a Fair Rent type, your rent is overseen by the Regulator of Social Housing and is also a Protected Rent registered with the Valuation Office Agency. This means that if your rent increase would take your charge above either the Social Rent Cap or the last registered Fair Rent level, we have capped it at whichever is lowest.

Any part of your rent and charges that include fixed service charges will also increase by the same amount as your rent; this increase is to cover the cost of providing these services.

Exemptions from the Rent Standard

If you’ve got a Key Worker or Intermediate rent type, or you live in one of our Temporary Accommodation homes, these are not included in the Regulator of Social Housing’s Rent Standard.

However, to help with affordability, we choose to only increase rents by the same percentage as those that are covered in the Rent Standard. So this year, in the vast majority of cases, rent amounts for these properties will also be increased by 7.7%.
In the vast majority of cases, any part of your rent and charges that include services will also increase by the same amount as your rent; this increase is to cover the cost of providing these services.

  • Monthly tenancies: changes applied from 1st April 2024
  • Weekly tenancies: changes applied from 1st April 2024

Each year, we’ll give you four weeks or a month’s notice, depending on your tenancy type. Letters are posted late February to allow for this, but please let us know if you don’t receive your letter.

Most tenancies are charged rent 52 weeks (or 53 weeks based on the upcoming financial year) of the year. Some homes that originally transferred from Reigate and Banstead Borough Council are charged for 48 weeks (or 49 weeks based on the upcoming financial year) of the year and have four rent free weeks. The total annual charge is the same for similar homes at social rents, just split over 48 instead of 52 weeks. If you pay monthly, your monthly rent will already have your rent-free weeks factored into your payments. The rent-free weeks over the next 12 months are: 

  • Week commencing 23rd December 2024
  • Week commencing 30th December 2024
  • Week commencing 17th March 2025
  • Week commencing 24th March 2025

The April 2024- March 2025 financial year is a 53-week year, instead of the usual 52 weeks. This happens every five or six years and means there are 53 chargeable Mondays. This additional week also applies if you have a 48-week tenancy, meaning that this year you’ll be charged for 49 weeks.

If you’re charged monthly, you don’t need to do anything, if you’re charged weekly (even if you pay by another frequency) then here’s what you need to do:

If you’re charged weekly, Universal Credit won’t pay for the additional 53rd week and so you’ll need to pay the extra. This means you’ll notice that your monthly benefit will be slightly less than what you’re due to pay to us. If you have a Direct Debit in place, we’ll amend your payments automatically. If you pay in another way, you’ll need to make a payment plan to cover the difference and pay this gradually over the year.

If you’re receiving full Housing Benefit, the additional 53rd week of the year will be paid for you. If you pay part of your rent, you need to make sure you’re paying your part of the extra week. If you have a Direct Debit in place, we’ll amend your payments automatically. If you pay in another way, you’ll need to make a payment plan to cover the difference and pay this gradually over the year.

If you pay your rent yourself please make sure you have a plan for paying the 53rd week. If you have a Direct Debit, we’ll make sure this is set up to cover the extra week, so you don’t need to do anything. If you don’t have a Direct Debit, please check your individual rent letter which shows what you need to pay from April in your usual way.

If you receive Universal Credit, please update your online journal from the 1st April, and not before, with your new rent and charge amount. If you don’t do this, you could miss out on money you’re entitled to.

If you’re charged weekly, Universal Credit won’t pay for the additional 53rd week and so you’ll need to pay the extra. This means you’ll notice that your monthly benefit will be slightly less than what you’re due to pay to us. If you have a Direct Debit in place, we’ll amend your payments automatically. If you pay in another way, you’ll need to make a payment plan to cover the difference and pay this gradually over the year.

If you receive Housing Benefit you need to let your local authority know your new rent amount, unless you’re with Reigate and Banstead Borough council, as we’ll let them know for you. You don’t need to wait until the 1st April to do this, so we recommend letting them know as soon as possible.

If you’re receiving full Housing Benefit, the additional 53rd week of the year will be paid for you. If you pay part of your rent, you need to make sure you’re paying your part of the extra week. If you have a Direct Debit in place, we’ll amend your payments automatically. If you pay in another way, you’ll need to make a payment plan to cover the difference and pay this gradually over the year.

If you pay your rent yourself please make sure you have a plan for paying the 53rd week. If you have a Direct Debit, we’ll make sure this is set up to cover the extra week, so you don’t need to do anything. If you don’t have a Direct Debit, please check your individual rent letter which shows what you need to pay from April in your usual way.

Regardless of whether you receive benefits or not, if you have a Direct Debit with us, you don’t need to do anything. We’ll adjust your Direct Debit based on your new rent amount and collect the additional week. We’re here to help if you have any concerns.

Talk to your Income Officer

If you’re finding things difficult, it’s always best to talk to us so that we’re aware of your circumstances and can offer the right support. Your Income Officer is at the end of the phone or you can request contact on MyRaven if you’d prefer to email.

Moneywise team

Let us know as soon as possible if you need support with budgeting, applying for benefits, benefit appeals or advice on reducing your bills. We’re here to help. This advice is free and confidential for all Raven customers.

Customer Support Fund

We know the increase in cost of living means it’s a really challenging time and so our Customer Support Fund is here to help. Our Moneywise team can work with you on an application to the fund that can be used to support with energy bills, furniture, appliances, or other debts or outgoings you may be struggling with. The fund is available to all customers including if you’re employed, not receiving benefits, in sheltered or temporary accommodation.

Get in touch

Call: 0300 123 3399
Email: raven@ravenht.org.uk
Send us a message through your MyRaven online account

We’ve put together this video to help explain how your rent is calculated and what this money is used for, which we hope answers some of your questions

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This video rounds up what you need to do for the April 2024 rent increase:

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