How your rent is calculated
The government sets out how social rents should be calculated. This is called 'formulae rent' and is for the property, it does not include the service charge.
The formula used for calculating this is based on the following factors:
- Value of house or flat (by district valuer, not estate agent)
- Property size (number of bedrooms)
- Average income for the region (set by government)
- Plus 5%
Affordable rent is set at 80% of market rent, there is a saving of 20% on what would be charged if the property were to be rented through a normal letting agent. Affordable rents only apply to a small number of Westward properties, in some locations we may have customers living next to one another but paying different rents.
If a property is selected to become affordable rent this happens only once the property is empty and the customer has moved out. The rent is then calculated by taking similar properties in the area and working out the 80% of the average rent. This is done using a Royal Institute of Charted Surveryors (RICS) method to ensure that the rent level is considered accurate.
This is where the rent is set by the local authority rent officer and reviewed every two years.
Annual rent review
The board reviews and agrees the rent to be charged each year, ensuring that it is compliant with any government legislation around rent levels.
For 2019/20 the rent levels are set at:
- Sheltered and supported housing rent will be CPI + 1%
- Shared ownership and other leasehold properties CPI + 1%
- Secure tenancies rent applied according to the registered rent.
What are service charges?
A service charge is a payment made by a resident towards the costs of maintaining your building and services such as repairs.
The amount required can vary according to the services provided; for example, where there is a lift in a block of flats, residents benefiting from that service would be expected to pay towards these costs.
Read Your Service Charge Account Explained for more information or call and ask us any questions.
We may hold a customer meeting to consult on and agree budgets for service charges for the following twelve months. We would give at least two weeks' notice of the meeting and send you the proposed budget one week before the meeting.
Accounts for the previous year, and the budget for the following year. Any surpluses or deficits are carried forward, and taken into account in the service charge which is set for the following year. Any significant deficit will be recovered over a two year period. Generally, service charges are designed to cover costs for the year in question. These costs may be known; e.g. where we have a fixed price for planned work; or estimated, e.g. where the cost of fuel and power may vary depending on consumption.
For leaseholders, in accordance with their lease and where legislation requires, an annual audit of the accounts will be carried out by a qualified accountant. Copies of audited accounts will be made available.
Owners have the right to inspect accounts, receipts and other supporting evidence in connection with the collection and administration of service charge accounts. Where appropriate, we may make a reasonable charge for this service.
You can read your Income and Arrears Collection Policy here.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any queries.