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From 5 April 2021, we will be making changes to the way we charge and collect your rent. Further information and your frequently-asked questions are dealt with below.
What are the changes to rent calculation from 5 April 2021?
In January 2021, the council issued all tenants a notice of proposed changes to how we will calculate weekly rent charges from April 2021 and invited comments for our consideration.
We have considered the comments and feedback from the consultation and have moved to progress the proposed changes as detailed below. We would like to thank all who took the time to provide feedback.
We have now informed all tenants that the changes will take effect from the start of the new rent year along with details of rent charges for 2021/22.
Having considered the comments received the following summary provides information about the changes and the benefits you will see.
Previously we have used a 48-week calendar period to calculate our rent charges. This entitled all tenants to have 4 weeks each year where no rent payments were needed, provided accounts were not in arrears.
The 'rent free' periods will no longer be automatically applied, which reduces the weekly rent charges tenants will pay from April.
However, all tenants can continue to have 'rent free' periods at a time which suits them rather than at set times each year. To continue to take advantage of a 'rent free' period your account must be in credit to cover the payment break.
For example: you would like to have the final rent month (March 2022) as a 'rent free' period. To do so you will need to have paid your rent charges up-to-date (no arrears) and increased your payments prior to the start of the 'rent free' period:
2021/22 Annual Rent Charge= £5200.00
Standard 52-Week Rent Charge = £100/week
4-week rent-free period (March 2022)
Your payments should be based on = £108.33/week
If you are planning to have a 'rent free' period at any time during the rent year you should contact the Rents team to discuss how your current payments should be altered. Otherwise if you do not intend to take any ‘rent free’ periods you will now have the benefit of having your weekly rent charges reduced by this change.
From April 2021 we will be advising you of your weekly rent charges, net of any benefits/reductions which you may be entitled. This will make it easier for you to calculate any adjustments to your payments to plan for a 'rent free' period.
We encourage and support all tenants to move to a monthly Direct Debit payment arrangement for their rent charges.
We understand this may not be suitable or desirable for all tenants. The arrangements you make to pay your rent on time remains your choice. If you wish to continue to pay your rent fortnightly, weekly or by cash payments then these remain available options.
We consider regular Direct Debit arrangements to be the safest, easiest and most common method of paying bills and our default recommended arrangement will reflect this. This change will most likely affect new tenants rather than a change to current tenant arrangements.
If you would like to move to monthly Direct Debit payments, please click the button below to find out more, and then you can complete the online form to set this up.
Why is the council looking to make changes to the way my rent is charged?
The outgoing system of charging rent over 48 weeks has been in operation for a number of years, but there are a number of factors which would benefit from having a simplified calculation of your yearly rent charge.
Most households budget on a monthly or weekly basis so moving away from a 48-week calculation for your rent fits with how most other household payments are paid. Significant changes brought in by Universal Credit benefit also means that the changes will be in line with how this benefit is paid.
When the changes take place does that mean that I will be paying more rent each year?
No, the amount of rent you pay during the course of a year (April to March) will not change. You will notice that your weekly rent will reduce slightly because it is spread over 52 weeks rather than 48 weeks.
I pay my rent monthly so will I have to pay more each month when the changes are brought in?
No, your monthly amount will remain the same if your payment is based on 12 equal calendar months.
I usually pay my rent by Direct Debit so will I be affected by the changes?
If your Direct Debit is currently collected monthly this will not change, if you are paying weekly, we will move you over to a monthly Direct Debit. If you currently pay by another method or frequency, we will be asking all tenants to change their payment arrangement in line with the changes, or to contact us if you wish to pay other than by monthly Direct Debit.
What are 'no rent' or 'rent free' weeks?
Traditionally, East Riding of Yorkshire Council has offered four weeks per year where you have not needed to make a payment. These have been known as 'no rent weeks' or 'rent free' weeks. However, rent has always been due for these weeks and has been covered by making a higher charge in the chargeable weeks.
If rent is due every week of the year does this mean I won’t get payment breaks at Christmas?
Yes, you won’t get automatic payment breaks but you can pay more than your monthly or weekly rent charge to build up a credit which would allow you to ask for a payment break once you have enough credit to do so. This facility for taking payment breaks will be available to you providing that your rent account does not go into arrears at any time.
Do I need to start paying my rent monthly by Direct Debit?
This is the council’s standard collection frequency and method. If you are able to pay monthly by Direct Debit and it suits your preferred bill payment arrangements we would encourage and support you to do so. Direct Debits for rent payments will be paid by default on the 1st or each month, although if you wish to change this then alternate payments dates will be available for the 7th, 14th or 21st of the month.
Should you wish for an alternative payment arrangement for your rent this will be considered on request. More information on how you can request an agreement for a different method of paying your rent, or different frequency, will be provided to all our tenants at a later date.
I may experience difficulties paying my rent monthly can I get help with this?
Yes. We will be flexible to cater for those who may not be able to pay their rent on a monthly basis so there will be other options available on request. Information regarding support with income and budgeting can be provided by the council’s dedicated Welfare Visiting Team or public support organisations such as Step Change or Citizens Advice.
Can I provide other feedback regarding my tenancy or property?
We frequently ask all tenants to provide comments and feedback on their tenancy and property.
Our Housing Maintenance Unit is currently asking for your feedback about any repair experience, please access our Online Housing Maintenance Survey and leave your comments.