Housing Rents & Charges 2018/19

The money that tenants pay to Swindon Borough Council (SBC) for their homes can be made up of 3 elements.

Rent - a charge for the occupation of a dwelling.

Service charge - for additional services, not provided to all tenants.

Support charge - additional services to help tenants maintain their tenancies.

Rent

How does SBC set its rent charge? In 2016 the Government committed to reducing the amount they spend on welfare payments and introduced a four year 1% rent reduction for all Social Housing tenants. Supported and Sheltered Housing rents decreased by 1% from 2017.

The rent paid by you is collected in the Housing Revenue Account (HRA). This money is used to provide repairs and maintenance to your home, pay for our business costs such as pay, National Insurance and employers' pension contributions. It also pays for any major works such as construction. Having less rent coming into the HRA due to the 1% reduction means less money to support investment and new developments.

The HRA is also used to repay £5million of debt each year - by doing this the interest calculated on the outstanding debt is reduced by £166,000 for the following year. In 2012/13 we repaid £4.99million in interest payments, by repaying our debt each year the interest payment for 2018/19 will be £3.78million.

If we do not repay the £5million to invest but would pay an additional £166,000 in additional interest in the years to follow.

Service/Support Charges

All councils need to recover their costs. The service charges that are included in some rents should not be more than the actual cost of providing that service. Utility bills did not rise as sharply in 2017/18 as predicted any savings will be passed onto our tenants, however, prices are expected to increased going forward.

The following services that Housing provide that require service charges:

Sheltered & Supported Housing

Heating & Water in Sheltered & Supported Housing

Multi-storey blocks

Neighbourhood Wardens

Garage Rents

Garage rents will rise by 5% although tenants will pay a lower rate than that paid by private households.

Summary

1) Rents will reduce by 1% for 2018/19 and 2019/20.

2) Service charges - there are fewer reductions on utility costs due to expected price increases in the future.

3) Garages - rents to increase by 5%.

4) Future - a balanced budget for 2018/19, without using savings.

Until 2020/21 we have no control over the rents we can charge to tenants.

If you have any comments or questions please contact:

getinvolved@swindon.gov.uk

Your views will go to the Housing Cabinet Members Advisory Group (CMAG) on 17th January 2018.

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Call Us: 01793 445503   /   Email: getinvolved@swindon.gov.uk   /  Write: Swindon Borough Council, Civic Offices, Euclid Street, Swindon, SN1 2JH

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