Rent & Service charges FAQs

Rent Increase

It says my rent is going up by 1.5% and my service charges are going up by 1.5% - does this mean the total is going up by 3%?

NO – the total should still be 1.5% for rent and fixed service charges.  If you have other charges, for example for personal or block heating, these may go up or down at a different rate depending on actual use.

What is a Section 13 Notice?

This is a legal notice we are required to serve on some tenancies to advise we are increasing the rent.

Why is my rent increase less than 1.5%?

There is a small amount of properties where a 1.5% increase would be over the rent cap for regulated rents. This is explained in your rent increase letter.   in your letters but there is a website link to check if you are affected.

Universal Credit & Housing Benefit

Which changes are included in Housing Benefit (HB)/Universal Credit (UC)? 

Your letter will show whether your charges are HB/UC eligible or not. But if you are unsure, please call Customer Services on 0300 123 3399.

Will Raven tell the Council/Universal Credit?

No – you must notify the council or update your UC journal.   If you don’t report the changes, it could cause delays or mean your increase does not get covered by your benefits.  You will still have to pay your full rent.  The one exception is if you get Housing Benefit from Reigate and Banstead because we notify them of all the rent changes. 

When will I know what my new Housing Benefit/Universal Credit payments are?

You will need to contact the Council/UC to check. If you need to adjust your payments, please contact us on 0300 123 3399.   We can help set up different payment methods that work best for you; and give you free support and advice if you are struggling to pay or need help with benefits.

How you pay

Why does it say my rent has to be paid in advance? I get Housing benefit/Universal Credit.

Your Tenancy Agreement is a contract and payment in advance is one of the terms of that contract.  It is the same in everyone’s tenancy .  This applies whether you receive benefits or not. If you cannot pay in advance, you need to make arrangements with your Income officer to pay extra over time to gradually get into advance. You must pay in advance by the frequency you pay.  If you pay monthly, you need to be a month in advance.

I pay by Direct Debit (DD), will Raven adjust it for my new rent?

Yes, if you already pay by Direct debit, we will amend it to reflect the increase. You will receive a letter to advise you of the new Direct Debit amount a couple of weeks before your rent changes.

If you do not currently pay by Direct Debit and want to change over, please contact your Income Officer to set this up.

Please see our ‘Ways to pay’ page for a reminder of the different methods of payment.