Rent charges 2017/18

Your questions answered

We have put together this information to tell you how we decide how much rent you should pay. Please read this leaflet and if you have any more questions please email us enquires@greensquaregroup.com or call us at 01249 465 465. 

Please remember in Wiltshire, your rent is now charged over 52 weeks, not 48. ‘Rent free’ weeks no longer exist over the Christmas period and in March and April. Rent payments are therefore expected every week. Please contact us if you have any queries about this.

How do you decide what my new rent will be?

There has been a change in the way annual rent changes are calculated. In recent years, your rent has been calculated based on the retail or consumer price index plus either 0.5% or 1%.  However as set out in the proposed Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016, the government announced that rents would be reduced by at least 1% over a four year period.  
This reduction did not apply to sheltered or supported accommodation for 2016/17, but is being applied from 2017/18.

I receive housing benefit or housing costs through universal credit – does this apply to me?

By law, we must tell you if we change your rent.  If you get housing benefit, we will tell the council about your new rent charge. You will also need to inform them by sending a copy of your rent increase letter.  

Your local council will recalculate the housing benefit you get now, and tell you the new amount in writing. We cannot tell you what this will be, so if you have any queries, please contact your local council’s housing benefit department.

If you are receiving Universal Credit, you will need to advise the Universal Credit Service Centre by calling 0345 600 0723. It is important you do this as soon as possible to ensure you receive the correct housing costs. They will not accept this information from your landlord

Your local council will recalculate the benefit you get now, and tell you the new amount in writing. We cannot tell you what this will be, so if you have any queries, please contact your local council using the details below.

If you are in receipt of universal credit, it is your responsibility to update your claim with your new rent and charges figure. If you fail to do this, you will have overpayments deducted directly from your universal credit payment. Their contact number is 0345 600 0723.

How is my service charge calculated?

Your rent will include a service charge if you receive any shared services, for example:

    • cleaning and lighting to entrance halls and stairwells to blocks of flats;
    • keeping shared gardens neat and tidy; and
    • managing facilities at sheltered housing schemes.<

We set a budget each year for the service charge, which is based on what we expect to spend during the year. When we calculate what we actually spent we then compare this against the budget. If we spent less than expected we reduce your next service charge, if we spent more we will increase it by the difference.

I pay my rent by Direct Debit - What do I need to do?

Nothing. We will tell your bank or building society if the payment has changed, and you will receive confirmation in writing from Allpay, our direct debit supplier, telling you what your new Direct Debit amount will be, subject to the usual Direct Debit guarantee.

I pay my rent by bank standing order - What do I need to do?

If you pay by standing order, it is your responsibility to contact your bank to advise of the change in payments. If you have access to internet banking, you can change the payments online. Please give your bank 7 days’ notice to set up or change the standing order. If you would like to start paying by Direct Debit, we will be able to change these payments for you, directly with you bank. If you would like to pay by this method, please call us on 01249 465 465.

The local housing and council tax benefit teams and contact details are:

Wiltshire Council

Swindon Borough Council

Aylesbury Vale District Council
66 High Street, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP20 1SD
Telephone: 01296 585618
Email: benefits@aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk

Cherwell District Council
PO Box 27, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX15 4BH
Telephone: 01295 227022
Email: customer.service@cherwell-dc.gov.uk

Oxford City Council
109 St Aldate’s, St Aldate’s, Oxford, OX1 1DS
Telephone: 01865 249811
Email: benefits@oxford.gov.uk

South Oxfordshire District Council (Capita)
PO Box 870, Erith, DA8 1UN
Telephone: 0345 302 2313
Email: sodc.benefits@secure.capita.co.uk

Vale of White Horse District Council (Capita)
PO Box 880, Erith, DA8 1UN
Telephone: 0345 302 2315
Email: vowh.benefits@secure.capita.co.uk

West Oxfordshire District Council
Town Centre Shop, 3 Welch Way, Witney, OX28 6JH
Telephone: 01993 861030
Email: housing@westoxon.gov.uk

Cheltenham Borough Council
Municipal Offices, Promenade
Cheltenham GL50 9SA
Telephone: 01242 264341
Email: benefitsandmoneyadvice@cheltenham.gov.uk

Stroud District Council
Ebley Mill, Ebley Wharf
Stroud GL5 4UB
Telephone: 01453 754054
Email: benefit.services@stroud.gov.uk

Forest of Dean District Council
Council Offices, High Street, Coleford
Gloucestershire GL16 8HG
Telephone: 01594 812531
Email: housing.benefits@fdean.gov.uk

Tewkesbury
Council Offices, Gloucester Road, Tewkesbury
Gloucestershire GL20 5TT
Telephone: 01684 272035
Email: benefits@tewkesbury.gov.uk

Cotswold District Council
Trinity Road, Cirencester
Gloucestershire GL7 1PX
Telephone: 01285 623000
Email: cdc@cotswold.gov.uk

Wychavon
Civic Centre, Queen Elizabeth Drive,
Pershore, Worcestershire WR10 1PT
Telephone: 03004 560 560
Email: benefits@southworcestershirerevenues.gov.uk