Our aim is to set and vary rents in a way that keeps them as affordable as possible for our customers whilst meeting legal and regulatory requirements. We also need to make sure we have enough income to provide good services to customers and run our business well.
What we aim to do
- We aim to set and vary rents at levels which are affordable to typical lower income households in the areas where we work and others who cannot access satisfactory housing through the market; we must also receive enough income to keep the organisation safe and deliver our charitable objectives.
- When setting the level of rents we will take account of:*
- the local housing market
- the level of rents at which customers become entitled to benefits to help meet their housing costs
- the levels of housing related benefits which households can claim
- local incomes.
- We must comply with the law and any regulatory requirements in England and Scotland.
- Where possible and government policy allows we will ensure that we have a consistent approach to rent setting in different areas and property types. Whilst rents may vary from place to place they cannot be set with regard to personal circumstances.
- We must make sure that we meet what we have agreed to do in contracts which includes tenancy agreements and other leases. We must also comply with any agreements made with funders.
- We will consult with representatives of our customers when any important changes are made to our policy and each year when rents are increased or varied.
We will apply this policy equally to all tenants of Riverside and check from time to time that it does not have an adverse effect on groups with protected characteristics in relation to equality of opportunity.
*Applies to Fair rents, Social rents and Affordable rents
Scope of policy
The policy applies to Riverside rents (including Scotland) and in particular:
- Fair rents
These apply mainly to tenants who moved into their home before 1989 and are set so that they do not breach a rent set by the independent local Rent Officer.
- Social rents
These apply to the majority of our homes including some which we have taken over through stock transfers and mergers.
- Affordable rents
Higher rents which we can charge on new and existing homes to help pay for the provision of new homes for rent. They are set at up to 80% of market rents (including service charges).
Some aspects of the policy also apply to a small number of properties with more specialist arrangements such as:
- The rent element of shared ownership properties –
Low cost home ownership homes
- Intermediate rents and mid-market rents in Scotland
Homes at prices and rents above those normally charged for social rent properties, but below market rent, typically 80%.
- Market rents
Rented housing let at the maximum rent level that can be achieved in the local market.
The policy does not cover:
- Rents on non-residential properties
- Service charges other than in relation to Affordable rents
You can find out more by
- Asking for a full copy of this policy
- Contacting us on this telephone number or calling into your local office
- Writing to us or emailing if you have a particular query about how your rent is set