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We have written to all of our tenants with information about changes to rent and service charges from 6 April 2020. Please look out for your letter, which also includes information about how we set rent, how to pay and the support we offer to our residents to pay their rent, including a series of daily drop-in support sessions this April.
This year Phoenix rents are increasing by 2.7% in line with guidance from the Regulator of Social Housing. Your rent helps to pay for the services you receive as a Phoenix tenant and this increase means we will be able to continue to deliver good services and investment in our existing and new homes and the Phoenix community.
We want to keep rents and service charges affordable for our residents and Phoenix rents remain lower than most other local housing associations.
What do I need to do?
Guidance is included in your rent notice letter and is dependent on how you pay your rent and service charges to Phoenix. Direct Debit is the easiest way to pay your rent and service charges and you do not need to notify your bank or building society of the change, we'll do that for you. If you pay by standing order or any other means, please update your regular payment amount in line with the changes.
What if I'm on Universal Credit?
If you receive Universal Credit, you are responsible for paying your rent and service charges to Phoenix and for notifying the Department for Work and Pensions of the change in your rent and service charges through your online journal. Guidance is included with your rent notice, and we will be offering dedicated support to residents to update their online journal at a daily drop-in at The Green Man from Wednesday 1 April until Thursday 9 April.
What support is on offer?
We’re here to support our residents and can offer advice on benefits and budgeting and can put you in touch with specialist organisations who may be able to help. We offer weekly drop-in sessions to support residents to access the benefits and support they are entitled every Tuesday at Bromley Jobcentre Plus and every Wednesday at The Green Man.
Citizens Advice can also provide free advice and Phoenix residents can meet with a Citizens Advice advisor at The Green Man, please contact us to book an appointment.
Why are Phoenix rents increasing?
All housing associations including Phoenix must set their rents in line with guidance set in the Regulator of Social Housing's (RSH) Rent Standard. From 2016 to 2019, rents for all social housing tenants reduced by 1% each year, in line with the government's 'social rent reduction' policy.
From 2020, the RSH's Rent Standard permits an annual rent increase of up to 1% plus the cost of inflation (measured by the Consumer Price Index). This year, inflation is calculated as 1.7% and our Board has approved a rent increase of 2.7%.