Tenants will receive letters in early March setting out the new rents and other tenancy-related charges applying from Monday April 4 2011. Leaseholders will also receive letters setting out the service charges that will apply from April.
A meeting was held with involved residents in December, and the Phoenix Residents' Group and the Leaseholder Forum in January, to discuss the basis of the rent and service charge increases. These meetings provided an opportunity for residents to ask questions on how rents and service charges are set.
Under Phoenix's rent policy, rents are increased in line with the Government's rent restructuring framework, with rents increasing at the rate of inflation (the Retail Price Index in September is used as the measure), plus ½% plus up to £2, until target rent is reached when the additional £2 is not included.
The Board approved the basis of the rent increase at its meeting in January. This year's rent increase will be much higher than last April's as the measure of inflation that we have to use (the September Retail Price Index) was 4.6% in September 2010. In deciding on the rent increase, the Board considered the cost pressures on Phoenix with the increase in VAT and rising pension costs, and the expectation of stakeholders, as well as the impact on residents particularly those with fixed incomes and in low-paid employment. The Board agreed a monetary cap on the increase of £6.50, which will benefit over 500 tenants.
The Board also noted that Phoenix rents are lower than those charged by other housing associations in Lewisham.
Service charges are set to cover the estimated costs of the services provided for the year from April. The Board also approved that increases in service charges are capped at £3 per week.
If you are having difficulty paying your rent and service charges, please contact your Housing Caseworker (Income) who will be able to advise on help and support that is available to you.
If you have not received a letter by Friday March 4, please contact us and we will send you another copy.
You can call FREE from your landline on 0800 0285 700, or from your mobile (lower cost on some tariffs) on 0844 264 2844.