Following our tenant focus groups in December and our full tenant consultation which closed 24 January 2024, we have collated some FAQS asked during the consultation process by involved tenants.
Although inflation seems to be reducing, it is still reasonably high, with fuel and other household bills still increasing. We understand that being able to afford the rent is a worry, but we also must make sure we are able to cover our costs while keeping any increase affordable.
Every year we carry out an affordability study based on current rents and model any proposed increase. This measures, based on a living wage, what income is left after rent is paid. Research advises that you should pay only around 30% of your income on rent alone.
We try wherever possible to keep within this threshold. We know that some tenants will not be earning a living wage. Employers can choose whether or not to pay this, so we look at this too. For anyone on a minimum wage who is under 23 years of age the rent will be a struggle, but you may be eligible for Universal Credit or Housing Benefit to top up your income.
If anyone is struggling to pay their rent we have a Tenant Welfare Advisor, David Campbell who can help assess your income and see if you are entitled to any benefits. For details of how to contact David directly please visit our website Welfare Advice (langstane-ha.co.uk).
Please also see our financial newsletter on our website which has contact numbers for agencies who may be able to help you with other areas of your finances.
The first thing that we do is plan our budget for the year. We need to work out how much we will spend on repairs, upgrades and other things like loan repayments and staffing costs. There is also a continued focus on making sure our homes are compliant with regulations. We tender these services to make sure we are achieving value for money balanced with making sure we achieve quality. At the same time we look at our customers affordability, it’s a difficult balance but we try to keep any increase as low as possible while covering our costs.
We also review what the rent increases for other social landlords are. This year we are pleased to confirm that our increase is the lowest of all our peers.
This is frustrating for both our customers and our teams. We can check why a repair is outstanding if you get in touch with us by e-mail, phone or you can send us a private message on Facebook.
We know that we need to improve our repairs service and have already tried to make improvements in this area. Repairs calls are now being taken by our Customer Service Team with the majority of repairs being issued to a contractor as soon as we are made aware of them. We have set targets and are monitoring performance carefully to make sure things are improving. We really value your feedback on any repairs which are carried out so please make sure you fill out your post repairs satisfaction survey to let us know how we did.
We very much care about what our tenants say. All feedback, including those who have made comments on Facebook and e-mail during the rent consultation are submitted to our Board of Management. The Board decide on what rent increase is applied after considering all the information mentioned above as well as your comments.
Let us know immediately when you are aware there is an issue. We will ask one of our Estates Assistants to inspect the communal area and they will discuss with the cleaning or gardening supervisor if necessary. They will also take photographs if the standard fall below what is expected. We will then monitor our contractor’s performance to make sure they are meeting the required standard.
|FAQ - Rent Increase - Tenant consultation 2024-25
Results of the rent increase 2024 consultation will be published as soon as possible.