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Rent changes

Your questions answered

We have recently written to our customers to explain some changes to our rent charges from Monday 6 April. Please find below answers to some common questions.

Why is the rent for my home increasing this year?

For the last four years, Selwood Housing rents have gone down by 1% each year, in line with Government policy. From 6 April 2020, the Government has announced a change to this policy and in line with this we will be applying a 2.7% increase to our rent charge.

As an example, if your rent is £100 a week, from 6 April 2020, your new rent amount will be £102.70.

We are applying this increase after four years of decreases because we need to ensure that we can continue to invest in our homes, so they are safe, secure and in good condition. We also need to build new affordable homes so that we can support more people in housing need in the future.

Does this increase affect service charges?

These calculations do not include service charges, which are based on actual costs. Services charges may go up or down depending on the services provided.

How does Selwood Housing spend the money received from tenants?

Every £1 of rent we receive, contributes towards the cost of maintaining our homes, including annual safety checks and repairs, as well as building more affordable homes in the local area.

In 2018/19 we invested £6.1m on planned maintenance and major repairs, including the installation of new windows, bathrooms, kitchens and boilers.

We are a not for profit organisation, so any money we don't spend is invested back into maintaining and building affordable homes.

To find out more about how we spend the money we receive, please download a copy of our annual performance report.

What action do I need to take if I receive Universal Credit?

If you claim the housing element in a Universal Credit claim, you will receive a 'to do' item on Monday 6 April within your online journal, with an action to advise of a rent change. Please complete this 'to do' item once received. You will not need to notify Universal Credit before the 'to do' item has appeared.

If you have any questions, the Universal Credit telephone helpline is 0800 328 5644.

What action do I need to take if I receive housing benefit?

If you claim housing benefit from Wiltshire Council, and the payment comes directly to Selwood Housing, we will inform Wiltshire Council of your new weekly charge.

If housing benefit is paid to you directly, or if you live in Mendip or Bath & North East Somerset local authority areas, you will need to inform the benefits department at your local council of any changes to your weekly rent charge.

Your local council will then write back to you to confirm your new housing benefit award.

How do I amend my direct debit?

We will change your direct debit for you. This is why paying by direct debit is the easiest way to pay your rent. We'll let you know what the new amount is five working days before your direct debit is due.

How do I change my standing order?

You'll need to let your bank know what your new weekly charge will be and when it will start (6 April 2020). If you don't receive housing benefit, you will be charged the amount stated on the letter we have sent you. If you do receive housing benefit, find further information above on what steps to take.

I can't afford to pay my rent.

We understand that any changes to your rent can be concerning. If you have any concerns please contact your account manager. They can review your individual circumstances and provide advice.

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