Residents will be receiving details this week of the rent increase we need to apply from the 1st April, along with information about any charges for the year ahead.
Why are we increasing rents like this?
In the booklet with details of your rent or charges, we explained that normally, your annual rent rise matches the rate of inflation in September, plus 1%. This would have meant a rent increase of at least 11% for all residents.
To help customers dealing with cost of living pressures, the Government decided that social rents charged by landlords like settle could be increased by 7% this year.
Although this cap didn’t apply to all tenancies, in particular shared owners, we agreed with our Board to also limit these rent rises to 7% for all residents.
Could we have applied a smaller rent increase?
We understand that any rent increase isn’t going to be welcome news at this time.
I wanted to emphasise that colleagues at settle and our Board looked in detail at whether we could set the rent increase below 7%. We all know from day to day life that costs are increasing, and this is the same for everything we do at settle. Our costs have all gone up during the past year. For example, costs for things like labour and materials have gone up by 10% to 15%.
The money we get through rent pays for everything we do. We are a not-for-profit organisation – we don’t pay shareholders. All income we receive through rents goes towards paying the for the costs of the services we provide, investing in existing homes and building new affordable homes for those in housing need.
If we had set rents below 7%, that would have significantly affected the services we can deliver, because what it costs to run settle is rising by much more than that.
Support from settle
Please remember, if you are concerned about things like paying your rent or heating your home, our teams at settle are here to help. Our teams will be able to talk through your individual circumstances with you and help you access support that best meets your needs. If we can’t provide this directly, we can also put you in touch with partner organisations who can provide specialist support.
We continue to review the support in place to provide as much help as we can to residents. As part of this, we have recently started a partnership with Pocket Power who can provide free expert advice on how to reduce your household bills, and we can also refer settle residents to the National Databank scheme, as a way for those who are struggling to pay mobile bills to access free mobile data.
You can find more details about all of the support we can provide in the cost of living section on our website.