20th February 2023

Changes to Rent and Services: Everything You Need to Know

Corporate News
This blog contains some FAQs that we’ve been receiving since Julie James’ announcement in regards to our rent and the services we offer our tenants and how these will change and be affected by this update.

2022 saw a lot of change in the housing sector, from the new Renting Homes Act to managing the effects of the increased cost of living, and 2023 appears to be no different in terms of change. Towards the end of 2022, Julie James, who’s the Minister for Climate Change in Wales as well as being responsible for housing, announced that the financial year 2023 – 2024 would see changes to rent prices. These changes include landlords in Wales being able to increase their rent by a maximum of 6.5%.

Although an increase of 6.5% seems like a large step up, the current inflation rate in the UK is 10.7%, therefore rent will still be considerably below inflation rates. But of course, an increase is still an increase, and with the continuing rise in the cost of living we understand that this news will bring worry and concern to some of our tenants.

This blog contains some FAQs that we’ve been receiving since Julie James’ announcement in regards to our rent and the services we offer our tenants and how these will change and be affected by this update.


What does this announcement mean for tenants? 

When Julie James announced these changes back in November of 2022, this stirred up a lot of questions, including what this meant for tenants. Well, the Minister set out more than just rent increases in her rent settlement announcement, she also concluded on:

  • Protecting and enhancing the provision of good quality housing and vital tenant support services.
  • Building on existing engagement with tenants in rent-setting decisions, including explaining how income from rent is invested and spent.
  • Carrying out further work to develop a consistent approach to assessing affordability across the social housing sector in Wales.

Although the focus has been on the increased rent, the Minister has set out these three points that will ensure landlords help their tenants through financial worry, provide more clarity on how rental income is spent, and aid in enhanced tenant services.


How much will rent increase for Linc tenants and why?

We couldn’t agree more with these additional tenant considerations, being able to provide better services and even more support to our customers is something we always strive for here at Linc, and this increase in rent will mean that this is possible.

After long talks about the effect of the cost of living on our customers, staff and business, we want to ensure that Linc can continue to provide excellent care, support and maintenance to all our customers and their homes. Therefore, the Linc Board has decided to increase rent by 6.5% across all locations and housing types.

Since our own announcement for the planned increase in rent, we’ve received very valid questions such as: ‘Why is rent being increased by this amount?’ As mentioned, the continuing rise in the cost of living has impacted everyone, from our very own customers to our staff. The increased cost of living has meant that everything from household bills, food, fuel, and transport has risen in costs. And unfortunately, Linc, like many other housing associations and businesses, has also been impacted by these rises in costs, and this has meant that:

  • The costs of repairs and improvements has increase by up to 30%
  • Energy costs have increased by almost 400% for electricity and almost 600% for gas

In 2021 – 2022, we spent over half of the rent we received on repairs and improvements to our customers’ homes across Wales and the remaining was used for our overheads such as staffing costs, interests on borrowings (mortgages), and costs of running a business. For 2023 – 2024, we plan to continue investing rental income in these areas in order to protect the services we provide our customers on a daily basis. In turn, we aim for maintenance wait times to be reduced, to keep offering our advice services and continue to host community events. Everything we do has our customers in mind, and we hope that this breakdown of how we invest our rental income highlights this as we try to make it through the challenges and changes we’re faced with.


How will Linc support tenants going through financial difficulties?

A service we’ve always offered our customers is financial advice and support, and with the rent changes we’ll be able to continue this vital service. The last few years have been very challenging for many individuals and families, with the pandemic and cost of living putting a great deal of strain on many. This has caused a lot of stress and anxiety as fears of not being able to for pay bills or food become more and more prevalent. But help and advice is still available here at Linc, we have our own dedicated section of our website addressing the cost of living. The Welsh Government also has information about where to get help if you’re struggling financially.

As well as playing our part in working with the Welsh and UK Government, we’ll be working directly with our customers to ensure everyone is receiving the financial support available to them.

If you’re concerned about paying your rent, please contact us. We have our own in-house income team you can chat to, or you can contact your local neighbourhood officer or scheme manager for help.

  • Freephone: 0800 072 0966
  • Text/ WhatsApp: 07537 410024 (Please give your tenant code when you text)
  • Email: centre@linc-cymru.co.uk

For more information on how Linc will support our customers, get in touch for a chat.

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