How is your rent calculated?
In the 2015 Summer Budget, the Chancellor announced that social housing rents would decrease by 1% a year for the next four years, starting in 2016/17. Therefore you will see that from April 2017 your rent decreased from what you were paying the previous year.
What value do you get from your rent?
- Provision of your fully maintained home
- Periodic improvements to your home and Neighbourhood services (including managing estates to maintain standards and preventing anti-social behaviour)
- Advice and services to help you to manage your tenancy
What Service Charges are and the type of charges you pay
Service charges are a fixed weekly charge (paid along with your rent payments) and are for the costs of various services supplied in addition to provision of your home.
A wide range of additional services is supplied by Stoke-on-Trent Housing, but not all may apply to you as they will vary according to the type of property that you live in.
• Communal water: some blocks will have a communal water supply and customers who have access to that water supply will contribute towards the cost. This charge is based on the invoices received from the water supplier.
• Grounds maintenance: this covers a number of services to the communal grassed areas in the vicinity of your home. Services include grass cutting, shrub bed and tree maintenance.
• Communal electricity: those flat blocks which have communal entrance halls, stairwells and security lighting will contribute towards the electricity costs for these areas. This charge is based on the invoices received from the electricity supplier.
• Communal cleaning: all communal floors, stairs, landings and entrance doors are cleaned by an external supplier. This charge reflects the contracted rate charged to Stoke-on-Trent Housing.
• Communal window cleaning: all windows in communal areas are cleaned by an external supplier. This charge is based on the invoices received from the cleaning supplier.
• Staff costs and security costs: some blocks benefit from the provision of site staff and security services and customers at those blocks contribute towards the cost of providing the staff and security costs involved.
• Equipment maintenance and repair; various maintenance is required to ensure that the blocks are adequately maintained and all safety standards are adhered to. Customers will contribute towards the costs which include lift maintenance, door entry systems, fire alarms, smoke detectors and fire fighting equipment, waste disposal systems, water hygiene and PAT testing.
• Furnished lettings: some of our properties are provided with furniture of a high quality and which is to a working standard. This charge reflects the costs of providing the furniture.
• External Management Company charges: some blocks have some of the above services provided by an external management company and so the customers in those blocks will pay towards the costs invoiced by the management company.
• Management charge: this is an additional charge to contribute towards the wide range of services, undertaken for the benefit of all customers, provided by Aspire Housing including rent account management, procurement services, finance, legal and governance services, repairs management, Housing Lettings and Customer Services teams.
If you have a query regarding the levels of charges set or the standard of service you receive please contact us as we will try to resolve or respond to these issues to your satisfaction. Please contact customer services on 01782 635200.
How to seek help in making payments
If you have problems in paying your charges it is important that you contact Aspire’s Income Team as quickly as possible to discuss your circumstances. You may be eligible for Housing or other welfare benefits. You can contact customer services on 01782 635200.