How your social rent is set

If your tenancy started after 15 January 1989 you will have an assured shorthold tenancy, and your rent is set using the policy below.

Since April 2002, the government has taken a major role in setting rents for tenants of housing associations and local authorities. The aim of this has been to ensure that rents for similar properties in similar areas are consistent. The Regulator of Social Housing’s Rent Standard 2020 outlines requirements and guidance for landlords in setting rent.

The guidance says that for a property:

  • 20%-40% of the rent will be based on property value
  • 60%-80% of the rent will be based on relative local earnings
  • The number of bedrooms will have an impact on the rent
  • The landlord can add 5% if required for its general needs accommodation and 10% for its supported housing
  • Individual rents increase annually by inflation (Consumer Price Index, or CPI) plus 1% from April 2020

Rent increases from April 2023

CPI for the year was 10.1%, but the Government has agreed to cap your rent increase at 7% instead. This means your rent may increase by up to 7%.

If you’re in supported accommodation, your rent may increase by up to 11.1%.

Rent reviews

We give all tenants at least one month’s notice of any rent increase. Rents for assured tenants go up most years in April (or May in some cases).

Service charges

In addition to the basic rent, many tenants are required to pay a service charge.

This covers items such as:

  • estate grounds maintenance
  • communal lighting
  • caretakers’ costs
  • communal cleaning
  • lifts
  • decorating

It also includes the administration costs that relate to those services.

We provide the services in the most cost-effective way that can reasonably be expected.

The annual increase in service charges reflects the inflation associated with the cost of providing estate and/or block services, unless we were previously under-charging you or there has been a significant change in the services provided. For 2023, we have had to increase heating charges massively to reflect the heating bills in 2022.

Appeals about your rent

If you are not happy with the increase in your rent, most tenants can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber). This is an independent body that will recommend a market rent based on the rents charged by private landlords in the area. The appeal must reach the First-tier Tribunal before the rent increase is due.

Find out more about appealing your rent on GOV.UK.

Talk to us if you’re having difficulty paying

We can help you with things like:

  • Making a budget.
  • Reducing your expenses.
  • Getting grants from the Government and other organisations.

Tell us what support you need

Or call us on 0203 535 3535, Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm, and ask for the Empowering Futures team.

This page was last updated in January 2023.