Social, affordable & intermediate rent

If your tenancy with Radian is social rent, affordable rent or intermediate rent, the frequently asked questions below will give you more information about how your rent is set.

If you’d like more information about your rental agreement with us, please get in touch by calling Radian Direct on 0300 123 1 567 or email radiandirect@radian.co.uk 

Over the last four years the government has imposed a 1% reduction in rent each year for social and affordable housing customers. This reduction was implemented as part of the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016.

In October 2017, the Government announced a new Rent Standard that will see Social and Affordable rents return to having annual rent increases of up to CPI+1% (Consumer Price Inflation) for at least the next five years. This comes into effect in April 2020. The new Rent Standard will see the first increase in rent charges for some customers and the first increase in four years for other customers.

The Radian Group Board have adopted the full CPI+1% rent increase across all eligible tenancies to provide a fair approach for all customers. We will continue to carefully consider the affordability of our rents when they are set annually for all of our customers. The Board have decided to set the increase at this level to ensure that the Group has financial certainty to continue managing and maintaining homes to a high standard, delivering excellent customer service, investing in our communities, tackling homelessness and delivering more than 10,000 new homes of all types and tenures over the next 10 years.

The rent increase is part of a new Rent Standard announced by the Government in October 2017 that will see social and affordable rents return to having annual rent increases of up to CPI+1% (Consumer Price Inflation) for at least the next five years.

As a housing association we must comply with the new Rent Standard which will come into force on 1 April 2020. The Rent Standard explains to housing associations how rents should be set, including the maximum weekly rent to be charged.

The Radian Group Board has decided to apply a CPI+1% rent increase across all our eligible tenancies to ensure we provide a fair approach to all our customers.

Our Board set the increase at this level to ensure that the Group has financial certainty to continue managing and maintaining homes to a high standard, delivering excellent customer service, investing in our communities, tackling homelessness and delivering more than 10,000 new homes of all types and tenures over the next 10 years. We will continue to consider the affordability of our rents carefully when they are set each year for our customers.

We are a not-for-profit organisation. This means that we do not earn profit from the income provided to us through things such as your rent. Instead, the money is used to:

  • Manage and maintain our existing homes
  • Deliver goods and services
  • Invest in our communities
  • Invest in beneficial projects and initiatives such as The Round About Café and Café 1759
  • Build more homes across the south and south west, including ones for social, affordable and market rent and sale.

To find out more about how we invest our money, take a look at our Community Investment page.

Changes to your rent depend on the type of tenancy you have. Your service charges may also increase or decrease, which means that your overall charge may increase or decrease.

If you have a social-rent home (the rent is about 65% of market rent)

The starting rent for your tenancy is calculated to ‘formula’ rent. The government sets the formula for working out the ‘formula’ rent. It uses your home’s size, value and location.

For the past few years, your annual rent review has been subject to a 1% decrease from the previous financial year.

Any rent increase must be in line with government guidelines.

 

If you have an affordable rent home (initially the rent is set at up to 80% of market rent)

Your initial rent is set at up to 80% of the current ‘market’ rent. We use a Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ approved formula to do this. Your increase is in line with the government’s rent policy.

Your rent is subject to a 1% decrease from the previous financial year.

Any rent increase must be in line with government guidelines.

 

If you have an intermediate-rent home (the rent is set at 80% of market rent)

Your initial rent is set at up to 80% of the current ‘market’ rent. Some intermediate rents are increasing, some decreasing. This depends on the original funding schemes for your property as set out under government legislation. Some will go down 1%, others will increase this year by Consumer Price Index plus one percent 2.4% + 1.0% = 3.4%.

Any rent increase must be in line with government guidelines.

Market rent is based on similar rents locally for properties rented privately.

Social rent is generally set at around 65% of market rent.

Affordable rent is initially set at up to 80% of market rent.

Intermediate rent is set below the normal market-rent level in the area. This helps households without a property purchase deposit to have a home and still save for a deposit.

We set service charges to recover the cost of our services. Radian doesn’t make a profit from them. We estimate service charges for the coming year by checking the previous year’s costs and considering changes (e.g. to the level of service and contractors’ prices, VAT and other factors).

If you pay a variable service charge (where we carry forward any surplus or shortfall from one years’ charge to the next), we will either require you to pay any difference to the estimate or refund it to you the following year. If you pay a fixed charge (where we don’t carry forward the surplus or shortfall from the previous year), there’s no extra charge or refund regardless of the final cost.

Some service charges increase because the cost of providing services increases. For example, heating charges increase if gas prices rise. Service charges also reduce when the cost of providing the service reduces.

You can claim an eligible charge from Housing Benefit and Universal Credit, but you cannot claim an ineligible charge. Examples of ineligible charges include heating and hot water for your home if they are supplied from a communal boiler or maintaining sheltered housing alarm systems.

No. Any rent increase stated in the letter does not include your arrears arrangement. So you’ll need to pay this on top.

You should take your letter to your local housing benefit office so they can adjust the rent level in your claim.

No, you don’t need to change your direct debit with your bank – we’ll do this for you. You should receive notice from our direct debit team of the new amount.

Please check your bank statement after your payment date to make sure we have taken the right amount.

If you’re on partial Housing Benefit and pay by direct debit, we need to wait for Housing Benefit to tell us your new entitlement before we can make the change.

If you are claiming Universal Credit you should tell them about the change in rent and service charges. This should be done after 6 April, either through your Universal Credit online account, by reporting a change of circumstances, or by phoning 0800 328 5644.

Yes, you need to contact your bank and ask them to change the amount of your standing order to cover any increase. If you want to avoid doing this in future, you could consider paying by direct debit because then the change happens automatically.

Yes. If, for example, your home is valued at a higher amount (e.g. it has a garden, more bedrooms or for other reasons), your rent may be more than your neighbours pay. It’s also possible your rent will be different because you have a different tenancy. If you recently moved into your home, the rent may have been set higher than longer-standing tenants pay for similar properties because of the effects of government rent policy since 2002/03.

Rent may also be different for the same kind of home in a different location, because location affects the rent.

Yes. If you register for My Radian, you can check your rent balance, print rent statements and make payments. To register, visit MyRadian.

If you’re unhappy with the amount of your rent increase, you may be able to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (an independent legal body with power to settle disputes about rent levels, among other things – previously known as the Rent Assessment Committee). But this applies only if your tenancy started in 2012 or before. For more information visit www.gov.uk/housing-tribunals/overview

Service charges are based on the services you receive and, in some cases, a payment on account for future works (such as roof repairs). As long as the charges are fair and reasonable (and, for certain long-term arrangements and qualifying works, as long as we have consulted the residents), you will have to pay the amounts charged. If you have worries about paying your rent or service charge, please call us on 0300 123 1 567.

Tell us if you have difficulty paying your rent. We can help in many ways. For more information and advice about benefits and debt, please go to our Financial Advice page.