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Annual Rent Review: April 2022

Clarion

As your landlord, it is our responsibility to review your rent each year and to make sure it is charged at a level that is fair to you and allows us to continue to provide our services.

Each year, we review our rents in line with national guidelines. How your rent is reviewed depends on your tenancy type and a range of factors, including your property type, property size and the date your tenancy started.

These factors may influence how your rent changes each year and why your rent may differ from others in your neighbourhood.

Below you’ll find information about the rent reviews for the period beginning 1 April 2022. These were communicated to residents throughout February 2022. You can also find information about service charges and what to do if you’re having problems paying.

If you need to check your tenancy type, please contact us.

Rent reviews 2022

Social rent tenancies

The government’s rent policy guidelines, issued in 2020, state that rents can be increased by a measure of inflation called the consumer price index (CPI) plus up to 1%, as long as this does not exceed the maximum formula rent set by the government.

The CPI index we use is from September 2021, which was 3.1%.

This year, Clarion has decided to increase rents by CPI, plus an additional 1%, where permitted. This means that, in most cases, your rent will increase by no more than 4.1% from April 2022.

We understand there are real pressures on the cost of living and this was not an easy decision for us to make. The rent you pay will continue to be far below the average in the private sector and we are committed to keeping your rent as low as possible over the long-term. However, many of the goods and materials and services we need are increasing in price faster than inflation. In December this was 5.4% which is one of the reasons why we had to make this decision.

The rent increase also ensures that Clarion can continue to provide all of our support services to our residents and communities.

Secure rent tenancies

If you have a secure rent tenancy you have a registered fair rent set by the Valuation Office Agency, which is re-registered every two years. Your rent will be increased by CPI plus 1% every year.

However, your gross rent (rent and service charges combined) will be capped at the registered fair rent if the increase exceeds the amount set by the Valuation Office Agency.

Affordable rent tenancies

If you have an existing affordable rent tenancy your rent will increase by CPI, plus a 1%.

This means that your rent will increase by 4.1% from April 2022.

Shared ownership rents

If you’re a shared owner, the amount of rent you’ll be charged is based on the share of the property Clarion owns.

The rent is increased in line with your lease agreement. In most cases, this means that your rent will increase by the September retail price index plus 0.5%.

This year that means most rents will increase by 5.4%.

We understand there are real pressures on the cost of living and this was not an easy decision for us to make. We are committed to keeping your rent as low as possible over the long-term. However, many of the goods, materials we need are increasing in price faster than inflation, which is one of the reasons why we had to make this decision.

Having problems paying your rent?

If you’re struggling to pay, please phone us on 0300 500 8000.

It’s always best to talk to us as soon as possible if you’re having any difficulty. We can talk you through your options and benefits advisers can make sure you’re getting the money you’re entitled to, and advise you on how to apply if you aren’t.

Find out more about what to do it you’re having problems paying

Our Guideline team also offers free, practical and confidential financial guidance to help you keep on top of your rent and household bills. They can also put you in touch with other services, help you get online, and help with jobs, skills and training.

To find out how we can help you, please contact our Guideline team.

How service charges are calculated

If you benefit from communal services like cleaning, lighting and grounds maintenance, we charge a service charge to fund communal services.

When we set your estimated service charges, we’ll review the cost of each service provided and calculate the new charge for it taking into account a number of factors.

Budgeted costs

On estates where a third-party managing agent provides some or all of the services, we take the most recent budget from the agent as a basis for your charges.

New estates

For new estates (less than two years old) we estimate the cost of services based on third-party agent budgets, or using cost information for similar services provided elsewhere. We’ll increase these by a measure of inflation, or once the full costs of the estate become apparent.

Salaries

Some services are provided by our own staff. In such cases, we take the salary costs of those staff plus overheads, and apportion this based on an average number of hours.

Price increases from contractors

Many services are provided by external contractors that have annual price increases in their contracts with us.

Inflationary increases

For regular services, we take the most recent costs and increase by inflation.

Once an estimate for your service charge is calculated, this is applied to your account depending on the type of agreement you have with us.

Properties are also grouped into blocks or estates for dividing service charges. Service charges are divided or apportioned by several means, the most common being by the number of properties in the group, or by the sizes of the properties.

Social rent service charges

If you have a social rent tenancy, the breakdown of your service charges outlines the charge for services you receive that are not covered by your rent.

Variable service charges

Your tenancy agreement may contain provisions that require Clarion to provide you with a certificate of what was actually spent on services within six months of the end of the financial year: by 30 September.

If you’ve paid too much, or not enough, the difference will be carried over into the following year’s charges. These are often referred to as variable service charge tenancies.

Fixed service charges

If your tenancy agreement doesn’t contain any of the above provisions, this means that where we’ve underestimated charges in a particular year, we won’t be able to ask you to pay back the difference. Equally, if we’ve overestimated the charges, we won’t be able to refund you the difference. These are often referred to as fixed service charge tenancies.

Affordable rent service charges

If you have an affordable rent tenancy, any communal service charges will be included within your rent. Any personal charges, such as heating and hot water to your own home, personal electricity use or water, will be shown separately. These charges are not included within your rent.

Homeowner service charges and ground rent

If you’re a shared owner, leaseholder or freeholder, in line with your lease or transfer document, we’ll provide you with estimated service charges before the beginning of each financial year (1 April).

Within six months of the end of the financial year (31 March), we’ll send you a certificate of actual expenditure which will detail any difference between the estimate and actual cost.

The difference will be applied to your account on 30 September.

Your lease may require you to pay ground rent to the freeholder of your property. Your lease will also say if the amount of ground rent payable will increase over time.

If you need to pay ground rent, you’ll receive a notice of demand that will tell you how much you need to pay. This is usually sent to you each year before 1 April.

National Fraud Initiative

We’re required by law to protect the public funds we administer. We may share information provided to us with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, or where undertaking a public function, in order to prevent and detect fraud.

We regularly participate in the National Fraud Initiative. This is a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body to see how far they match. This is usually personal information.

Find out more in our privacy policy

For more information, read our FAQs.