Paying your Rent and Service Charges

In this section you can find out more about your rent and service charges, along with a variety of easy and safe ways to pay your rent. It's important that you pay on time and in full, so your home is not at risk.

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Your rent

  • Your rent is payable in advance and below you can find out all the different ways you can make a payment.
  • If you pay monthly, your rent is due on the first day of each month. If weekly, your rent is due every Monday.
  • If you have any problems paying your rent, please contact us as soon as possible to find out what help and support we can offer.
  • Please be scam aware. Any rent increases will be advised by letter sent directly to you. We never call to advise customers of a rent increase, so if you receive a call like this, it could be a scam. If you have any concerns, please contact us on 0333 200 7304.

Rent and Service Charges

All rents are reviewed annually in line with the government's and the Regulator for Social Housing’s rent setting guidelines.

For the majority of our customers, rents are reviewed each April.  However, for a small number of customers, rents are reviewed each January, as outlined in your tenancy agreement.

Please remember: a service charge is not a rent charge. It's the amount payable in addition to the rent for the delivery of services such as heating, lighting, laundry costs, repairs, maintenance, improvements, and our cost of management.

2024 Rent Review

We wrote to you in February confirming what your new rent will be from April 2024, along with any service charges payable.

As a not-for-profit social housing landlord, the costs of providing our services are covered by the rent we receive. We re-invest all rental income in repairing and improving our homes, building new ones and offering vital customer and community support.

You can find out more in the ‘How we spend every pound’ section of our 2022-23 Customer Annual Report, which you can view here.

Our rents are reviewed annually in line with the Rent Standard and guidance published by the Regulator for Social Housing. Social rents are linked to inflation, which has risen due to continued higher energy and fuel costs and prices in shops. 

This year, in line with the Regulator for Social Housing’s rent formula (September CPI + 1%) our net rents will increase by 7.7%. CPI stands for Consumer Price Index which measures the average change from month to month in the prices of goods and services purchased by most households in the UK. 

Please note:
If you have a Social Rent tenancy agreement, this increase only applies to the rent you pay for your home. 

If you have an Affordable Rent tenancy agreement, this increase applies to the affordable rent you pay for your home and any eligible service charges you may pay.

The rent you pay (either weekly or per calendar month) is calculated in line with the social housing rent formula, which takes into consideration the size, location and relative value of your home, as well as local income levels.

It’s the amount we charge you to rent the home you live in. It also includes an amount for insuring the basic structure of your home (the building) but not the contents. 

To make sure your furniture and belongings are covered we strongly advise you to take out home contents insurance. You can find out more here.

During the first year of your tenancy, we review the rent once only. After the first year, your rent is reviewed annually. Any changes to your service charges will be made at the same time. We will give you one calendar months’ notice of any changes in writing.

If your tenancy agreement specifies that your rent is charged weekly, it will look slightly different this year as there are 53 weeks in a leap year, rather than the usual 52. Therefore, this year, you will be charged for an extra week. 

If you pay your weekly rent, in a monthly payment, you can calculate your new amount by multiplying your weekly rent charge by 53 weeks (instead of the usual 52) and then dividing it by 12 months

Due to legislation, if you claim Universal Credit, your additional week will not be covered by the DWP, so you will need to cover this cost yourself.

Universal Credit

If you receive Universal Credit, please access your online DWP journal, select ‘verify your housing costs’ and enter the new figures outlined in this letter. 

Failure to report changes may result in your housing costs being incorrectly assessed. 

Please only update your journal on or after the increase date.
 

Housing Benefit

If you receive Housing Benefit directly and then pay us, you will need to notify your local authority of the change in your rent. If your Housing Benefit is paid directly to us, we will update them and they will send you a new award letter. It’s your responsibility to check the details are correct and, if not, contact your local authority to resolve. 


Direct Debit

If you pay by Direct Debit, you do not need to do anything. You will soon receive a letter from allpay confirming the new amount to be collected. If you do not receive this letter by 31 March 2024 you need to let us know.

 

Standing Order

If you pay by Standing Order you will need to contact your bank or building society and ask them to start paying the new amount from April 2024.

What is my service charge for?

If your home has a shared entrance hall, garden or other communal areas, your tenancy will include a service charge. A service charge is the amount you pay towards the cost of providing a service, which includes things like heating and electricity, cleaning, gardening, general maintenance and door entry systems. It can also cover the cost of providing a specific service, like a lift or emergency call system.

If you pay service charges, the rent review letter we sent you will include a sheet giving you a breakdown of your charges.

Please remember: a service charge is not a rent charge. It's the amount payable in addition to the rent for the delivery of services such as heating, lighting, laundry costs, repairs, maintenance, improvements, and our cost of management.

How is my service charge set? 

If we provide a service that is shared by a number of residents, the service charge is calculated by dividing the total service cost between the number of customers who benefit from it. 

We do not make any profit from service charges and you only pay for the services you receive

Why is my service charge more/less than last year? 

A service charge is based on what it actually costs us to provide the service to you, and whilst we always work to get the best possible value for money from our contractors and in the way we manage your services, costs can go up or down, depending on inflation and market conditions. 

We continually review service charges to ensure that you are only charged for the services you receive, and that each service charge is an accurate and fair reflection of the actual cost of providing that service.

Why is my list of service charges different to last year? 

Please don’t worry if you see a change to the way we describe some of your service charges. This is because we’ve reviewed our descriptions to try and make it easier for you to see what you are paying for.

Our priority is to keep you feeling safe and secure in your home. If you are experiencing financial difficulty, please read the information or get in touch, as we may be able to help. Alternatively, your local Citizens Advice can provide independent advice.

Successful Tenancies Team 

If you’re struggling with your finances we are here to help. Our Successful Tenancies Team advisors can assist with all aspects of money, budgeting, grants and benefits advice including:

• Full benefits check to see what you might be entitled to 

• Advice and guidance on Universal Credit 

• Help applying for benefits 

• Budgeting tips to help manage your money 

• Referrals to specialist debt teams and specialist energy support 


You can find out more here.

Energy Bills 

We are here to support you with some simple steps to help you manage your energy costs and keep your home warm and safe at the same time. 

We can also let you know about grants and benefits to help you pay your energy bills.

Visit our energy advice page to find out more.

Platform’s Wellbeing Fund 

Our Wellbeing Fund is open to all customers who are experiencing financial hardship and need short-term support. 

The Fund can help cover essential food and energy costs, especially if you are waiting for your first benefit payment. To find out if you are eligible and make an application, please visit our Wellbeing Fund page to find out more.

Employment Support 

If you’re looking for work, do you need some help building confidence or getting started?

We have partnered with Stay Nimble so that our customers can get FREE support with all types of work-related challenges. You will get to talk with a qualified coach to consider your options, gain confidence and find direction. 

You can find out more and sign up here

For all general queries about your rent and service charges, please:

Call:   0333 2007304 – Select Option 1, then 2 and 3

Email: info@platformhg.com

 

Specialist Housing Schemes

If you live in one of our specialist housing schemes, please contact your Retirement Housing Officer who will be able to help you, especially with service charges queries.

Ways to pay

Direct Debit

Paying by direct debit will ensure your rent is paid automatically and securely on time, every time. You can choose the collection date and frequency (weekly, fortnightly, 4 weekly, or monthly) to suit you. You will need a bank or building society account that will accept direct debit payments.

Simply call the Rents Team on 0333 200 7304 and we can set up a direct debit for you over the phone today.

Call us

allpay

We work with allpay, our payment collection company, to offer a range of easy and safe ways to pay your rent. To register for all the following payment methods you will need the long 19-digit number (payment reference number) on your Easypay card:

Pay online at any time to suit you using a debit or credit card by registering here

Download the free allpay app to make payments via your Apple, Android or Windows smartphone at any time. You will need a debit or credit card. Allpay App

Use the automated telephone service to make payments at any time. You will need a debit or credit card. Call 0330 0416 497

Make a text payment by sending a text message from your mobile. You will need a debit or credit card. Register here

Find out more and apply for support from our Wellbeing Fund