General FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) About Rent And Charges - 2016/17

 

When will these new charges come into effect?

You will need to pay the new amount from Monday 4 April 2016.

 

Why is my rent changing?

Housing Association rents are regulated by the Government.  In July 2015 the Government announced plans to reduce rents in the social housing sector by 1% for each of the next four years from April 2016.  This means your weekly rent charge has reduced.

 

What about my other charges?   

Other services such as water and sewerage costs may be included in your weekly charge.  These costs are not affected by the rent reduction this means that they may have increased.

 

I also have to pay a service charge.  What is this for?

Your service charge pays for the cost of managing and maintaining shared areas associated with your home.

 

Below is a list of all the services that Rosebery may provide. Not all properties receive all services, so you will only be charged for those that apply to your property.

 

Caretaker Costs

This is the cost of having a mobile Estate Services Officer. The Estate Services Officer visits each site monthly and services include carrying out  inspections including health and safety checks, fire alarm testing  and dealing with  dumped waste items.

Communal Cleaning

This is the cost of cleaning the shared internal areas, bin stores and some external areas. This usually includes sweeping (including the bin store), mopping floors or vacuuming floors, dusting and cleaning walls and doors and the cleaning of communal windows. You will find a list of the work for your block on the communal notice board where you live. This charge is based on the contract cost for the service.

Communal Gas Supply

This is the cost of metered gas charges for communal heating systems.

Communal TV Aerial Maintenance

Some sites have a communal television aerial, this cost relates to the maintenance and repair of these aerials.

Entry Phone Servicing

This is the cost of servicing and repairs to the entry phone system in your block.

Fire Detection

This is the cost for service and repairs to fire alarms, smoke detectors and smoke vents

Grounds Maintenance

This is the cost of maintaining the shared external communal areas. It usually includes grass cutting, pruning, weed control, leaf clearance, litter picking and sweeping of hard surfaces. The charge is based on the contract cost for the service.

Provision for Renewal

You also have to pay for the wear and tear on some items which we provide (such as entry phone systems, for example).  We spread the cost of replacing them when they wear out over several years.

Rubbish Clearance

This is the cost for the tipping and dumping of rubbish and removal of large items. These costs can be avoided if people do not leave items of rubbish in the communal areas. If we are able to identify who has dumped large items, we will recharge the cost to the person rather than everyone.

Servicing of Emergency Lighting

This cost relates to the maintenance and servicing of emergency lighting.

Tree Works

This includes pruning and removal of trees and surveys of tree condition. The cost is calculated by considering the historical cost of work previously carried out and known planned work for the year ahead. Sometimes we may need to carry out unplanned works during the year, when a tree‘s condition becomes dangerous.

 

How do you decide what the service charges will be?

We work out the total cost of providing the service for the year and divide this amount by 52 to give a weekly cost. We then divide this between all the properties in a block, so that everyone pays an equal amount.

 

Why do my charges fluctuate year on year?

Service charges are based on the actual cost of providing the service. These charges may change over time depending on various different factors. Some examples of why your service charges may change include:

  • Entering into a new contract. The new contract could be for the provision of services such as grounds maintenance or repairs.
  • Utility costs can go up as well as down.
  • The cost of maintaining something has proven to be higher or lower than previously estimated.

 

What can I do if I don’t understand or agree with my new rent?

Firstly, you can contact us – call the Customer Experience Team who will help explain your charges. You can also make an appointment to come and see us. If you’d like further advice, there are other places that can help, like the Citizens Advice, housing advice centres and law centres.  Or you can consult a solicitor.

 

I am finding it difficult to pay my charges.  What can I do?

If this is the case you can contact our Income Team who can provide advice and support to help you manage your payments. You can also find out about any benefits you may be entitled to by contacting your local council’s benefits office or Citizens Advice. The Citizens Advice also offer help with budgeting and managing debt. Contact Epsom branch on 0300 330 1164 or Guildford on 01483 576 699. You can also visit their website www.citizensadvice.org.uk 

 

What do I do if I have a repayment plan with you?

If you have an arrangement in place to clear any rent arrears, we would suggest that you continue to pay the higher amount so that any debt continues to reduce.  If you would like to review your repayment plan in light of the changes to your rent, please contact our Income Team.

 

How can I check my rent account?

We send you a statement every three months but you can access your rent account at any time by registering to use ‘My Rosebery’ which can be found on our website at www.rosebery.org.uk/my-rosebery Our Customer Experience Team would also be happy to issue with a rent statement on request.

 

I pay my rent by direct debit.  What do I need to do?

You don’t need to do anything. We’ll change the Direct Debit and write to you to let you know about it.

 

I pay my rent by standing order, what do I need to do?

We cannot change a standing order for you so you will need to ask your bank to amend your payments. If you need any help calculating this amount, please contact us and we will be happy to help you.

It’s important that you contact your bank straight away to make this change so that you do not fall behind with your payments.

To avoid having to make these changes going forward, you could switch your payment method to Direct Debit. This is the easiest way to pay your rent and means any changes to your payments are made automatically. Please contact the Customer Experience Team if you would like to set one up.

 

How can I contact you if I have any questions?

You can contact our Customer Experience Team or Income Team by calling 01372 814 000 or Freephone 0800 068 7664.  You can also email us at customerexperience@rosebery.org.uk or rent@rosebery.org.uk

 

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