We are making changes to your rent from April 2023


14 Feb 2023

We are making changes to your rent  from April 2023 

We will be increasing the cost of rent for most customers by a minimum of 7%, from April 2023. 

You don’t need to do anything yet. We wanted to let you know in advance.

We have listened to customers who told us they wanted to hear from us as early as possible about future changes we would be making to rent.  

We wanted to let you know that we will be increasing the cost of rent for most customers by a minimum of 7%, from April 2023.  

Reducing the impact of very high inflation on you   

The government has announced that housing associations cannot increase rents for general needs properties by more than 7% this year. This decision follows consultation with housing associations, including Thirteen. The cap is to protect customers from very high inflation and the cost-of-living crisis.  

Inflation means the general cost of things we all buy is going up. The level of inflation is worked out using the Consumer Price Index (CPI). CPI works out the average increase in the cost of household goods and services, like food, electricity, gas, and fuel.    

Shared ownership customers 

If you are a shared ownership customer, your rent will also increase by 7%.   

Service charges 

The government cap does not cover service charges, sheltered, extra care or supported housing. But we have worked hard to minimise any increase for customers living in these types of accommodation, which is explained on the following page.  

Why we are increasing your rent  

We haven’t taken this decision lightly. We appreciate that there will be a range of feelings about the increase.  

The cost of buying almost everything has gone up a lot over the last 12 months, for you, as well as for Thirteen. Some of our costs have increased by up to 38%.  

Our priority is to keep providing the same level of services and improving them for you. To do this we have to increase our rent unfortunately.  

Increasing rent will help us to keep improving existing homes and building new ones. It also means we can play our part in looking after neighbourhoods and working with partners to keep them clean and tidy. 

 How much will 7% cost me? 

We will write to you soon with the exact amount of your new rent.  

To help, we have provided some examples of what a 7% rent increase, excluding a service charge, will cost you per week.    

  •  If your current rent is £79.06, your new rent will be £84.59. That's an increase of £5.53
  • If your current rent is £90.07, your new rent will be £96.37. That's an increase of £6.30
  • If your current rent is £112.29, your new rent will be £120.15. That's an increase of £7.86   

If you live in sheltered, extra care, or supported housing  

The cost of providing services in our supported homes is also increasing.  

Unfortunately for these types of accommodation our rents will increase by 11.1%. This is in line with the tenancy agreements that customers have in these buildings.  

This increase will help us to continue to offer a full range of support services.  

We know that these services are vital to customers wellbeing. We want to continue supporting customers who need it most.  

We are also increasing service charges   

Due to inflation going up, we are also seeing an increase in service charges.  

Your tenancy agreement will detail if you pay a service charge and how much.  

The amount we increase a service charge by will depend on the building you live in. We will let you know the exact amount when we write to you at the end of February.  

We do not make any money on service charges; we only aim to recover the costs we must pay to deliver the service.   

Help and support for you  

We understand the increase in the cost of living is causing concern to a lot of people. If you are worried about an increase in costs, please speak to us. There are lots of things we can do to help.  

We have a cost-of-living support page on our website too, with guidance and advice. Visit our support page here. 

You may also be eligible to get help with your housing costs. Check if you are eligible here. 

The government is increasing benefits in line with inflation  

If you are eligible for state benefit support, the government is increasing benefits in line with inflation, as it was at the end of September 2022. Benefits will rise by 10.1% in April 2023.  

If you receive benefits such as Universal Credit, Housing Benefit, and State Pension, the rise will help you cover the cost of the rent increase.  

If you are unsure if you are eligible for benefit support, please call us on 0300 111 1000. We can see what support we could provide to you. 

What will happen next  

You will receive your rent increase letter at the end of February.  

This letter will set out your new rent and service charge cost from April 2023.   

Please read this letter and keep it safe. You may need it for any Universal Credit or Housing Benefit claims.    

We appreciate that this information may not contain news that you wanted, and the messaging may be difficult to take.  

We are committed to helping support you as our loyal customers, residents and tenants where we can.  

You don’t need to do anything else now. But if you feel worried or need support you can reach out to us to talk. We’re here to help.  

In the meantime, please wait for your rent increase letter where we will let you know the next steps you might need to take.