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Important update on changes to rent charges

In 2019, we wrote to BVT residents to let you know about changes to the way that we review rent charges.

Reviews have now moved from the anniversary of your tenancy start date to the first Saturday in April each year.

From April 2020, the Government has advised that rents for social housing tenants will increase by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of September 2019 plus one percent.  This means that your rent will increase from this date.

Between January and March, we will write to you to confirm what your new rent will be. If you receive Universal Credit, it is vital that you update your journal once you get this letter to make sure any claim for housing costs takes account of this increase.

Social rents have been going down for the last four years. On average, even after this year’s rent increase, social rents will still be 72p cheaper each week than they were in 2015/16

The rent increase ensures that Bournville Village Trust residents still get a good deal on their rent, while also making sure that we are financially stable. Rents are a vital source of income because they are more stable than other sources, like government grants or borrowing. The increase ensures that we able to continue to invest in homes and communities.

What should I do if I claim Housing Benefit?

We will inform Housing Benefit of your rent change but you must ensure your rent change has been updated. The easiest way to do so is to take your rent notification letter to Housing Benefit. You will be responsible for any arrears incurred if Housing Benefit have not updated your claim. If you receive Housing Benefit paid directly to you, you must ensure that you update Housing Benefit with the rent change yourself.

What should I do if I receive Universal Credit?

You must update your claim online or notify the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) of the change in rent on or after the day of the rent, not before. If you do not do this you will be responsible for paying any arrears caused. If you need help to do this, please contact a member of our Income Team on 0300 333 6540.

What should I do if I pay by Direct Debit?

We will tell Allpay to change your Direct Debit. You will receive a letter from Allpay confirming any changes. BVT will set Direct Debit payments to include any arrears agreements and payments in advance.

What should I do if I pay by Standing Order?

You must tell your bank to change your regular payment.

What should I do if I have any other questions?

If you have any questions or concerns about this, please contact our Customer Services team on 0300 333 6540 (Birmingham) or 01952 293777 (Telford).

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