Rent and Service Charge Information
Why has the Council put the rent up this year?
The Welsh Government gives the Council grants to help build new homes and to support the national Welsh Housing Quality Standard programme. However, we get no subsidy at all from the government for day-to-day services for our tenants. Everything we do on a daily basis - included repairs and letting homes - has to be paid for from the rent we receive from you. Each year though, costs go up - for example the prices for building materials increase all the time. That means rents also need to go up to help cover these extra costs. Rents also help cover the cost of borrowing for major improvements, such as new bathrooms, kitchens and windows.
How did the Council decide the change in my rent?
The Welsh Government sets a guideline average rent for each local authority. The guideline rent for 2020-2021 for Powys has increased which means your rent need to be changed to reflect the government's guidance. This year's rent increase is that set by the national rent policy for Wales - no more than the Consumer Price Index plus 1%. That means rents for 2021-2022 are going up on average by 1.5%.
Why has my service charge changed?
Service charges are based on the actual cost of providing extra services to your home over and above the basic provision of maintenance, management and long-term investment. These costs vary year to year so we change the service charge to match the cost of providing these services.
Why do I pay a service charge for a lift I never use?
Lifts are provided for everyone in a block to use. The service charge covers the cost of providing and maintaining the lift, which can be used by any tenant. Where a block benefits from a lift all the households are expected to contribute to the cost of providing this important facility.
I pay my water rates so why do I have to pay a service charge for sewerage to the Council?
Water rates are only for the supply of fresh water and not for sewerage. Your sewerage is processed through a system owned by the Council not the water company. The Council needs to recover the costs of providing this service for you.
Why have my sewerage costs increased?
The charges are based on the actual cost of running the sewerage systems, plus any maintenance and repairs that are carried out on the sites in the last financial year. These costs vary year to year, so we change the service charge to match the cost of providing these services.
The costs have increased this year due to several essential and unavoidable repairs being carried out to our sewerage plants across Powys. Repairs undertaken in this financial year will be reflected in the costs next year. Starting this year, the Council will be undertaking a programme of improvements to the sewerage plants with the aim of reducing the need for ongoing repairs.
I can't afford to pay my rent - what can I do?
Council rents are amongst the lowest in Powys - and all our properties are let on secured tenancies. That means that as long as you pay your rent and stick to the conditions of your tenancy, you have security of tenure for as long as you want to stay in your home. However, we do understand that there are times when it is difficult to pay bills such as rent. If you think you may not be able to pay your rent, please call the Housing One number of 01597 827464 as soon as possible. We will be able to give you advice on how to avoid falling into rent arrears. We also have a team of Tenancy Support Officers who can help people manage their money and where possible claim help from the social security system - for example Universal credit or Housing Benefit.
We are here to help so don't delay calling us if for whatever reason you are worried about making your rent payments.