Changes to my Rent Notice

Changes to Tenants Rent Notice (De-pooling)

Frequently Asked Questions

We have sent a letter to all tenants advising you of the changes along with an example of estimated service charges of how your rent notice will look following the de-pooling of rents that will come into effect as of 1st April 2018.

In March 2018 tenants will be sent their usual rent notice (rent increase letter). The notice will inform them of their new rent & service charges for the coming year.

I've had this letter, I don't know what it's for?

Your rent and service charges are normally included together.  MHA are separating your service charges from your rent to enable you to clearly see the costs of the services you receive in connection with your property and the surrounding area.

What's different to last year?

You will now be shown a breakdown of each charge rather than just one charge for your rent.

How will it change for me?

You will continue to pay as you normally would.  All that’s changed is we are now showing you a breakdown of what services you are being charged for.  These charges have always been included within your rent but not clearly identified.

Why is my rent no longer one payment? 

The Welsh Government require all landlords to change the way they calculate and show charges to each tenant to make it clearer to understand what services they pay for as part of their rent, making it-

  • Open
  • Clearer
  • Fairer

There is a breakdown of your rent and service charges included.  This explains what services you will be expected to pay for along with a detailed description explaining what the charges are Click here  for a description of service charges.

Are these extra charges to what I normally pay when I pay my rent?

No.

Will my rent go up?

Welsh Government sets the rents for housing associations and usually there is a rent increase every April linked to inflation. Tenants rent will not increase as a result of the de-pooling changes, however service charges are based on the actual costs of the service, so service charges could go up or down in the future.  

I don’t pay rent?

All tenants pay rent, however, your rent may be fully covered or partially covered by Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.

I claim Housing Benefit will this cover my service charges?

All service charges are covered by Housing Benefit (called eligible service charges) and we will be working closely with the Housing Benefit department to make them aware of these changes. A list of all Service charges with a description will be included in your rent notice.

I claim Universal Credit will this cover my service charges?

All service charges are also covered by Universal Credit.

What is de-pooling?

De-pooling is a process whereby the landlord stops sharing the costs of these services amongst all its tenants and introduces a separate service charge payable only by those tenants who receive these services. All service charges are eligible for housing benefit and Universal Credit.

What are service charges?

A service charge is a payment made by a tenant or leaseholder for services received in connection with the occupation of his or her home. An example of a service we provide to our tenants and leaseholders could be for-

  • Communal Lighting (this relates to lighting in communal areas) - Flat stairwells, sheltered schemes not street lighting on highways or main roads as this is provided by Monmouthshire County Council and is paid for through council tax.
  • Grounds Maintenance- Grass cutting, shrub bed maintenance for example
  • Lift Maintenance- For example in a sheltered scheme a lift may be in place
  • Testing of Fire Alarms (In communal areas, fire alarms in flat stairwells, sheltered schemes, communal halls etc)

How do I pay for these service charges?  

This will take effect on the 1st April 2018, continue to pay your rent as normal, we will send you further information nearer the time.

I am a new tenant, what does this mean for me?

During sign up to your new home, the New Homes Officer will explain the changes to you.  You will also find a letter and a detailed description of charges included in your welcome pack.

Is there anyone I can speak to about this if I need further information?

We'll be holding events in the following areas over the next few weeks, please come and talk to us;

Thursday 30th November 3.30 - 7.00 pm at Bridges Community Centre, Drybridge House, Monmouth, NP25 5AS

Monday 11th December 3.30 - 6.30 pm at Bulwark Community Centre, Chepstow, NP16 5RF

Wednesday 13th December 3.30 - 7.00 pm at Caldicot Town Council Offices, NP26 4NA

Thursday 14th December 3.30 - 6.30 pm at Mardy Community Hall, Abergavenny, NP7 6HF

Lauren Lewis is the Project Manager who can assist with any further queries. Lauren can be contacted on 01495 745765 or lauren.lewis@monmouthshirehousing.co.uk

Customer Services Advisors on 0345 677 2277 or, email

customerservices@monmouthshirehousing.co.uk

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