The government has recently been considering a social/affordable rent cap (the maximum that rent could increase by) of either 3%, 5% or 7%.
It has now announced that rents for 2023/24 will be capped at 7%. As a result, we can now confirm that from 1st April 2023 our rents will increase at this rate.
Usually, rents increase by inflation plus 1%. Inflation is currently around 10-11%, so this still means there is a large gap in our income.
We are currently working on ways to save money so that, despite the reduction in income, this does not impact on our ability to service our tenants and their homes. Unfortunately, we need to increase our rents to enable us to provide services, comply with our duties, invest in new and existing homes, and maintain the strict regulatory standards that are placed on us.
For us the cost of delivering services has also gone up, and our partners are also finding it hard to buy materials and pay for basic costs, such as fuel.
While we totally understand that any rent rise is difficult for our tenants, it just isn't possible or realistic for us to be able to maintain the service that is expected without doing so.
Rent is our primary source of income and is critical to maintaining our homes and supporting our tenants.
Last year we spent £11.6 million on improving our existing homes, as well as a further £7.1 million on day-to-day repairs and planned maintenance works. As an organisation, we have recently seen our maintenance costs increase by 20%, and the cost of constructing new homes has grown by more than 11%.
We encourage all our tenants to contact us if they are struggling with paying rent and we will do all we can to help them to sustain their tenancy. Please call 01494 476 100 and ask to speak to our Tenancy Sustainment Specialist. Alternatively, you can also contact Buckinghamshire Council's Helping Hand team on 01296 531 151 for financial support.
85% of our tenants who are struggling to pay their rent contact our tenancy sustainment team for support. Our team will conduct a benefit and budget assessment to check whether there are any areas that can be maximised to help household incomes.