Your rent charge is based on the type of home and tenancy agreement you have (secure, assured, market rent, shared owner or affordable). For the majority of tenancies there will be a rent increase of 7% for 2023/24. This is in line with the cap the Government has put in place for rent increases this year. If you pay service charges you may also see an increase in some of these costs.
The rent and service charges you pay enables Plus Dane to provide the services you receive as well as carrying out the activity to keep you safe in your home including gas and electrical testing. We also invest in our homes to keep them warm, safe and secure. Rents are our main source of income and they enable Plus Dane to continue to deliver the vital services that you need, while meeting the increasing costs of materials and the increasing demand for repairs from our customers. It also enables Plus Dane to pursue activities linked to new housing legislation and government targets, including building safety and achieving net zero carbon.
Each year we review the cost of the services your property receives. This could result in your total charge being higher or lower than you are currently paying.
Service charges cover all of the services that Plus Dane provides to your home and any communal areas associated with it, including gardens, lawns, hedges and trees. Your tenancy agreement, lease or transfer document states what we can recharge you for and these charges are broken down for you.
Where services are provided by someone else (known as Managing Agent) we show their costs as a whole. Any services we provide are shown separately.
As part of our commitment to keeping you safe, we will be introducing more regular testing of communal fire alarm systems in addition to conducting fire risk assessments to communal areas. We are currently reviewing how often these tests will take place to make sure the costs for this service are kept to a minimum, but you will notice that these services are now included. You can read more about fire safety here: Fire safety - Plus Dane Housing
We understand that prices for electricity and gas have risen significantly in recent times. We have worked with an energy consultancy firm to get the very best deal we can however, those customers with a communal area, or who live in supported or sheltered accommodation, may notice an increase in their utility charges
If you are in receipt of Housing Benefit and do not pay your rent or other charges directly you will still receive a confirmation letter outlining the charges associated with your home. As your landlord it is a legal requirement that we send rent letters to all of our customers.
Following changes made to the Universal Credit scheme in November 2021, some people who were not previously eligible to receive Universal Credit may now qualify. Our Welfare Team can help you find out if you should make a claim and support you with it or visit www.plusdane.co.uk and use our benefit calculator tool to calculate what benefits you may be entitled to. Please make sure you seek advice from our Welfare team or your local Citizens Advice Bureau before switching to Universal Credit to make sure you don’t lose out
If you receive Universal Credit you will need to update your journal with your new rent charges and eligible service charges. Your rent notification letter will say if they are eligible for Universal Credit or not. You will need to update your UC journal on Monday 3rd April via your ‘to do’ list - “Confirm your housing costs”. Do not try to do this by adding a message to your work coach or reporting the change to early as these won’t get actioned by Universal Credit and you will not receive the correct housing costs.
Following changes made to the UC scheme in November 2021, some people who were not previously eligible to receive UC may now qualify. Our Welfare Team can help you find out if you should make a claim and support you with it or visit www.plusdane.co.uk and use our benefit calculator tool to calculate what benefits you may be entitled to. Please make sure you seek advice from our Welfare team or your local Citizens Advice Bureau before switching to UC to make sure you don’t lose out.
As with any other change in your circumstances you must notify the Housing Benefit department immediately. If you don’t do this they will not make any changes to your entitlement in line with the rent charges and you will have to pay the shortfall where applicable.
It is important that you notify the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) of any changes to your rent/service charges. If you don’t you will not receive all of the benefits that you are eligible for and may fall into rent arrears.
Direct Debit – you should not need to take any action - If there is a change to your charges, Plus Dane will re-calculate the direct debit that you will have to pay from April. You should then receive a letter from Allpay confirming your new payment amount. We recommend that you check to make sure the correct payments are being made.
Standing Order – you will need to amend the amount if you pay by Standing Order, to reflect you new payment.
If you receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, the amount of rent you have to pay will be automatically calculated, and you will receive a letter from either the Local Authority or the DWP confirming the amount. Please feel free to contact us and we will help explain.
If you are not entitled to Housing Benefit, or claim Universal Credit Housing Costs, you must pay the full amount of rent due.
You may be entitled to help with your charges through Housing Benefit or Universal Credit Housing Costs.
Following changes made to the Universal Credit scheme by Government in November 2021, people who were not previously eligible to receive Universal Credit may now be entitled to. Our Welfare Team can help you find out if you are entitled to make a claim and support you with it. Alternatively you can use our benefit calculator to help you calculate your own benefits.
If you are having difficulty paying your rent please contact us immediately, we are here to support customers who are struggling to maintain payments. We are also able to refer to Raise, an independent charity who provide free and confidential advice and training around welfare benefits, debt, and financial capability issues if needed, and also or we can put you in touch with our Engagement and Partnerships Team for support with training and employment opportunities.
Plus Dane wants all customers to remain in their homes. To help you we have staff who can give the relevant help and advice. If you want to speak to someone now please call 0800 169 2988.
It is really important that you keep up with your payments, if you don’t you will fall into arrears. If you are having problems making your payments, please don’t ignore it - there's lots of help available to support you.
We have a range of support services in place to help anyone who might be struggling. These include help with welfare benefits, access to employment, loneliness champions and a range of other services. You can find more about these services at www.plusdane.co.uk/supporting-you/money-matters/
While we aim to support customers having difficulty paying their charges we will take action against those that do not pay, so it is important you contact us immediately if you are struggling.