Rent and how to pay
Paying your rent has never been easier using your online account. Don’t know how to book online? Don’t worry we’ll talk you through it step by step.
Recently we contacted you to make you aware that we’ve taken the difficult decision to increase our rents on 3 April 2023. We’ve created this FAQ page to help answer any questions you may have and explain why the increase is happening, how it will affect you, and make you aware of the help available to you if you’re struggling.
We know that any rise in rent will come as disappointing news, as many of you may be worried about the rising cost of living this winter and beyond.
We appreciate the past year has been difficult for many of our customers and that this will continue to be the case in the months ahead. We will continue to work hard and do the very best we can for all of you with the resources that we have.
If you are having money problems, it’s important you speak to us. We have trained teams ready to help. Please access support by contacting our Financial Inclusion team, calling us on 0330 355 1000 and choosing option two, or by completing our contact us form. If there is anything you don’t understand or you're not sure what to do once you have read through the information below, don’t worry - give us a ring and someone will be there to help you.
We felt that it was important to be open with you about the reasons why we need to increase our rents. We always aim to keep rent as affordable as possible, but we need to balance this with the rising costs being incurred by One Manchester. Normally, annual rent rises match the rate of inflation in September, plus 1%. This would have meant a rent increase of 11.1%. To protect customers from cost of living pressures, the Government decided that rents could only be increased by a maximum of 7% this year. The costs of labour, materials and subcontract continue to increase which means that delivering repairs and installing new boilers, windows, kitchens and bathrooms and so on are all much more expensive than they were a year ago. The cost of our energy bills as a business, are also four times higher than they were. This means that if we had set rents below 7%, we would have had to reduce services and investment because what it costs to run our services is rising by much more than that.
Our Board therefore decided that rents should rise by 7%. In making the decision, the Board considered the average incomes in the areas where we work against the levels of rent to ensure they remained affordable. Increasing the rent by 7% means that this year we can:
• Invest over £1.5m in upgrading the energy efficiency of 131 homes.
• Install 300 new kitchens and 180 new bathrooms in homes.
• Invest £600,000 in our Thrive Fund to support our customers to purchase items they are struggling to afford.
• Invest £4m into our Healthy Homes programme to deal with issues of damp, mould and condensation in your homes. (We continue to urge any customer who has damp and mould in their home to contact us so we can deal with the issue swiftly. Please contact our Healthy Homes team on email@example.com and a member of the team will be in touch to arrange a survey to identify the root cause and arrange for repairs to be undertaken). If we had increased rents by less than 7%, for example 5%, that would have potentially meant:
• Delaying some planned investment in existing homes, for example kitchens and bathrooms.
• Reducing the number of homes where we are installing energy efficiency measures.
• Reducing the Thrive Fund, meaning we would be unable to support as many customers during the cost of living crisis.
The new rent has been calculated by taking into account:
• The details in your tenancy agreement.
• The rent increase formula set by legislation, which states that rent increases should be based on the Consumer Price Index (inflation) in September 2022, which was 10.1%, plus 1%. This means that your weekly rent would have increased by 11.1%, however, in light of the cost of living crisis this has been capped at 7% as per legislations.
Due to the increases in national energy and utilities bills along with the rising costs we are experiencing from our external suppliers; we have had no choice but to review and increase our service charges in some areas. You will find information in this pack about estimated charges for the year ahead. The new service charge reflects the cost of providing services and is based on the costs in 2022, which have been increased in line with inflation and are reflective of the significant increases in energy costs. To support our customers during the cost of living crisis we have made sure our services charges will not increase by more than £5 per week above your current charges.
You can find out more about service charges here.
Yes, if you receive the housing element of Universal Credit, you must let the Department for Work and Pension (DWP) know about the increase in your total weekly payment by updating your Journal on the day of the increase on Monday 3 April 2023. Do not update your Journal before this date because the DWP will not recalculate your entitlement with your new rent amount.
No, if you currently receive Housing Benefit directly into your rent account, the total weekly charge will be updated automatically. We’ll let Housing Benefit service know of the change and they will update the amount they pay us. However, if you have Housing Benefit paid into your bank account, please tell the benefits department about the change as soon as possible. It’s important that you let them know as soon as possible to avoid any underpayments which may lead to arrears on your rent account. You can contact Manchester City Council at firstname.lastname@example.org
No, if you pay by Direct Debit, we’ll make the changes for you. In addition, you will receive a separate letter from Allpay to confirm your Direct Debit has been updated, so please check this letter. If you do not receive one or want us to double check your Direct Debit payment, email us at: email@example.com
Yes, if you pay by standing order or via online banking, please change the amount that has been set up to the new rent as soon as possible. You might want to consider changing your payments to Direct Debit as this can give you peace of mind knowing your rent is being paid on time.
The bedroom tax shortfall or under occupation charge as it is also known will be 14% of the total rent if you have one spare bedroom, or 25% of the total rent if you have two or more spare bedrooms. If you pay this shortfall by Direct Debit, then we will amend this to the new amount. If this increase causes any financial difficulties, then please contact our income team at firstname.lastname@example.org
To calculate the monthly amount you need to pay, you need to do the following: Your new weekly rent amount x 50 and then divide this by 12. This takes into account the two non-charge weeks (around Christmas and April time). e.g. £100 x 50 = £5000 / 12 = £416.66
Our priority is to support our customers to sustain their tenancies, and we want to help prevent rent arrears as much as you do. We have a dedicated Financial Inclusion team who are fully trained to ensure you get the most out of your income and benefits. If you have other debts, they can help you by looking for the best solution for your situation and will work with you every step of the way to get you the best outcome possible.
Their services are free, impartial and confidential. Please get in touch with them as early as possible if you need help to pay your rent or service charges and other debts. Submit our contact form and select "Money Advice"our financialinclusionteam will be in touch or visit this poage - which has lots of helpful advice and links to other organisations that can help such as Citizens Advice Manchester.
We’ve pulled together a helpful guide to all the local support and advice available to offer you a helping hand to help you combat the cost of living crisis.
You can find support relevant to you by visting this web page.
Our Money Advisors are trained to help you
We want to help support you and make sure that your household income is maximised. Our Money Advisors are specially trained to help you with debt advice, budgeting support and much more.