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FAQs about Rent Review and Charges

Every year we review our rent charges. This year, the review has been particularly difficult as we balance keeping our rents affordable with managing increasing operating costs.

You will have received a letter from us detailing any changes to your rent, which will come into effect from 2nd April 2022.

Below are answers to questions you may have about these changes.

1: My rent is increasing, why are you doing this now?

We review rents every year and increasing them is always a difficult decision that is not taken lightly. As a not-for profit community organisation, the money we receive from the rent that you pay goes straight back into maintaining our homes and delivering services. As the cost of services, goods and materials has increased, particularly building and repair-related costs, we have to ensure our income can accommodate these changes so that we can continue to invest in improving homes and providing services.

2: I’m worried I won’t be able to afford this increase, what can I do?

Please speak to us as soon as you can. We have specialist staff who can support and work with you. They can help you access benefits you may be entitled to, maximise your income, access immediate help with food and energy bills, and much more. You can contact a member of our Income team or one of our Financial Inclusion Officers by calling 0300 333 6540.

3: How does this impact me if I receive housing benefit?

If we receive your rent directly from the Council’s Benefit office, we’ll contact them about the change to your rent. If your Housing Benefit is paid directly to you, you’ll need to tell your Council’s Benefits office about any rent change yourself. If you live in Birmingham, you can do this online on the Council’s website and if you live in Telford go to www.telford.gov.uk

4: I receive Universal Credit, what should I do?

You’ll need to update your claim online via your Universal Credit Journal. Please complete the Confirm Your Housing Costs to-do request on your Journal after 2nd April 2022. Please complete this request after the 2nd April and before your assessment period ends to ensure you receive your rent increase award in your Housing element.

5: I pay my rent by direct debit, how does this impact me?

If your direct debit needs to change, we’ll ask the company that collects direct debits on our behalf (AllPay) to do this for you. You’ll receive a letter from AllPay confirming any changes. Please note your Direct Debit agreement may reflect a repayment agreement as well as your rent charge, including payment in advance.

6: I pay my rent by standing order, what should I do?

Please ask your bank to make a change to your standing order if your rent is being increased. This will ensue the correct amount is being paid.

7: How can I set up a direct debit to pay my rent?

To set up a direct debit, please call our Customer Services team on 0300 333 6540. We are not able to set up direct debits via email.

8: How can I view my rent statements and check my rent account?

You can view your rent statements and check your account here by logging into our self-service portal for tenants – See My Data. If you haven’t already registered to use the portal, you can do this on our website here. If you have any problems registering or logging in to See My Data, please call 0300 333 6540.

If you have any additional queries that are not addressed above, please call 0300 333 6540 or email enquiries@bvt.org.uk

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