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Claimant commitments that were previously relaxed due to Covid-19 are being reintroduced. If you are claiming universal credit, please be mindful of this and make sure to check your online journal.

If you need some help understanding what this means for you, please get in contact with our rent team.

Contact our rent team

Read our full coronavirus update

Rent should be paid one week before it is due.

Paying your rent must be given top priority when budgeting, to prevent any arrears building up on your account. If at any time you experience financial difficulties,  please contact us for advice and support.

 

Contact our Rent Team

Rent FAQs

Will my rent be reduced because of coronavirus?

We are closely following the government’s advice, so in the short-term, we will not be reviewing our rent. However, we are continually reassessing our approach towards coronavirus as the government’s advice changes.

Find out why we can't offer rent holidays

Where does my rent money go?

We reinvest all the money that we receive back into our homes. Your rent goes towards all of our services, including housing, estate and tenancy management, repairs and maintenance, and improvements to homes, and building new properties.

Information about how the rent level is calculated can be found below.

Housing Benefit and coronavirus

Housing Benefit has updated its services, to help those affected by coronavirus.

Their phone lines are now open for longer - from 9am until 5pm (previously 10am until 2pm)

You can complete these forms on the housing benefit website:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Council tax deductions
  • Change of Circumstance
  • Change of Address

For all other requests, please call Housing Benefit and they will help you over the phone.

We can help you to fill in a Discretionary Housing Payment application form over the phone. Housing Benefit will contact you to verify the information, so please ensure that you tell us your accurate email and telephone number.

Read about Discretionary Housing Payment

Visit the housing benefit website

Rent setting

Your rent is calculated using rules set by the government. There are social and affordable rents, affordable rents are usually set at 80% of the rent that would be charged in the private sector.

Other costs

Depending on the type and location of the accommodation, you may have to pay service charges. This includes your heating, lighting, cooking and hot water, which is paid for in addition to your rent.

If your building has a communal gas and electrical supply, this will be shared by all customers and this amount will be added to your rent. You will not then receive a gas or electricity bill.

You will be informed of any charges that you are liable for when you sign your tenancy agreement.

Rent-free weeks

There are two rent-free weeks for 2019/20, which are the weeks commencing 1 April 2019 and 23 December 2019. Rent will be charged for 51 weeks as there are 53 rent weeks in 2019/20. You don't have to pay rent during rent-free weeks if your rent account is fully paid to-date. If you are behind with rent, you must make a rent payment. If you pay by direct debit, your rent balance will be automatically calculated.

53-week rent years occur every five to six years, due to there being 52.1 weeks in a normal year. This means that every few years the 0.1 will fall on a Monday.

Guide to the cost of living in your home

Please click here for a guide to the monthly costs of living in your home.

How to understand your rent statement

Please click here for tips to help you understand all the information in a rent statement. 

What happens if I don't pay my rent on time?

If your account falls into more than four weeks’ arrears without an arrangement, Silva Homes will start legal proceedings. This could result in a County Court Order for possession of the property and you may lose your home.

Remember that once this is granted, Silva Homes could apply for your eviction if you do not stick to the terms of the Court Order.

The rents for our customers is increasing by 2.7% from April onwards.

For most people, this is a rise of between £3 and £4 per week. You will receive a letter soon showing the exact details of your new rent.

Our rent costs are still lower than they were in 2015 and they have decreased by 1% every year since 2016. As a not-for-profit business, all the surplus that we make goes directly into our homes, so this rent increase will help us to build more new homes and to maintain and improve our existing homes and services.

Contact our Rent Team

Rent increase FAQs

Why is my rent going up by 2.7%?

In November 2019, the Regulator for Social Housing in England announced that landlords could raise rents by 1%, plus the level of the consumer price index September 2019.

The regulator allows landlords to decide if they should raise rents by up to 2.7%. Silva has decided to raise rents by the maximum amount because we have had 4 years of reduced rent which has impacted our ability to build new homes. All the money raised by this increase will go towards our homes and services. Rents are still lower this year than they were in 2015.

Why does it look like my rent has increased by more than 2.7%?

Your rent has increased by exactly 2.7%, but it may look slightly higher, due to the varying number of weeks in a year.

We calculate your rent to include two rent-free weeks: one at Christmas and one at the start of April. This means that over 50 weeks, you will pay the equivalent of 52-weeks' rent.

The year 2019-2020 included 53 weeks, so your rent was spread across 51 weeks instead of the usual 50. This means that this years' rent increase may look a few pence higher than 2.7%, but that's just because you're paying your rent over a lower number of weeks.

This table shows how the rent decreases and increases of the last three years have been calculated:

 

Rent calculations
 

Change

52-week rent

Conversion

Our charge

Apr-18

 

101.81

Divide by 50 multiply by 52

105.88

Apr-19

minus 1%

100.79

Divide by 51 multiply by 53

104.74

Apr-20

plus 2.7%

103.51

Divide by 50 multiply by 52

107.65

Do I need to tell Housing Benefit that my rent is increasing?

No. We will inform your local authority of your rent increase so you don't need to do anything. Any other change of circumstances that affects your claim for housing benefit is your own responsibility to report.

Do I need to tell Universal Credit that my rent is increasing?

Yes. You must provide your new rent via your online journal as soon as possible after the 6th of April when it goes up. It is important that you don’t provide the new rent before this date as it may cause an error in the amount you receive. If you don’t provide your new rent figure you may not be paid enough Universal Credit to cover your rent.

Do I need to adjust my direct debit?

No. We will adjust the direct debits for all our customers who pay their rent via this means. They will be informed by letter around the 15th of March of the new amount they have to pay.

I don’t understand a charge included in my letter

There may be other charges listed in your letter. These may be garage charges for a garage that comes with your property, or they could be service charges for blocks of flats or services around your estate. If you don't understand one of these charges, please contact our rent team.

Some of our independent living customers will have a new charge of £1.74 in their letters to cover the cost of a lifeline. If you have this on your letter, it means that you have already been receiving this service, but have not been charged until now, so it is just a reflection of the service they are receiving.

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