Frequently Asked Questions

When will I receive my Annual Rent Review letter?

Rent review letters for Tamil Housing properties, both owned and managed properties, are usually sent out to our residents in the last week of February each year. If we experience any delay in rent review information (for the properties that we manage) then it may impact on the information sent out to residents living in Tamil Housing managed properties. If you haven’t received your letter by 1st of March, please contact us immediately to request a copy.

What information is contained in the rent review letter?

The rent and service charges that you pay usually changes each year. The Rent review letter you receive will consist of information about your new rent and any service charge.

How do you work out the rent increase or decrease?

Rent charges are set by following Government policy guidance. An increase or decrease may be applied to your rent depending on the type of property, tenancy, the length of the tenancy and the type of rent you have.

What is the current rent policy guidance set by the Government?

In 2015, the government announced that year on year rents should decrease by 1.0% for all tenants living in social housing properties. The 1% decrease started from April 2016 and will apply for four years until April 2019.

Example: Suthan lives in a general-needs property, his rent is £100.00 per week. The decrease of 1% will be £1.00 His new rent will be £99.00 per week.

Tamil Housing’s shared ownership rent review information will be published here in due course when the shared ownership units that are currently under construction are nearing completion.

Why is my neighbour paying different rent than me?

The level of rent you pay depends on how close you are to a target rent. This is the amount at which the government has said similar council and housing association properties in the same area should be rented out for. If your neighbour moved in at a different time to you, the rent for their property could be closer or further away from the target rent than yours. Some properties are let on social rent and some are let on affordable rent or other types of rent as different rent schemes operate from time to time.

What is the difference between social rent and affordable rent?

Housing Associations mainly charge social rent when renting their homes. The introduction of a new Affordable Rent is a relatively a new development. Both, social rent and affordable rent are less expensive in comparison to the market rent.

Can I claim housing benefit if I live in a Housing Association property?

Yes, as long as you meet the Housing Benefit criteria. Housing benefit eligibility is based on your household circumstances and income. Depending on your personal circumstances, your housing benefit may not cover the full rent, and you will expected to pay the short-fall from any other income you have.

My Housing Benefit payment or rent is paid to Tamil Housing directly; do I still need pay any additional rent charges to Tamil Housing?

You are always responsible for your rent payment even if Housing Benefit payments are made directly to Tamil Housing. We will inform both you and the Council of rent and service charges owed to us. The Council will write out to you to let you know how much Housing Benefit you will receive. If there is any shortfall, you will need to pay the difference.

Please note, changes to your personal circumstances will affect the amount you receive. If your circumstances change, you need to let the benefits team at your council know and ensure your weekly and monthly rent payments are made promptly. Universal Credit has already been rolled out in some areas and is now being introduced to other Boroughs. Residents claiming Universal Credit will be responsible for paying their rent directly to us.  Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) are responsible for Universal Credit. Therefore, it is your responsibly to ensure that you keep DWP informed promptly of any rent increase or changes in your circumstances.

Do I need to change my Standing Order?

Yes. You will need to tell your bank the new amount that needs to be paid and the date that it must be paid from to avoid falling into arrears.

How do you work out service charges?

If you are living in a Tamil Housing property and pay a service charge, you’ll find a separate schedule along with a breakdown of charges for the service (s) provided to your home. We set the service charge for each financial year (from 1st April to 31st March). If you are living in a property manged by Tamil Housing and pay a service charge, the Housing Association or Landlord who own that home is responsible for setting the service charge. We will ensure that your service charge information is supplied to you before the commencement of the financial year regardless of whether you live in a Tamil Housing owned or managed property.

What if I can’t afford the increase?

Unfortunately, we are not able to offer discretionary rates based on individual circumstances. But you should contact us as soon as possible so that we can discuss your options and provide support.

What happens to the money I pay you?

We are a not for profit organisation, that means every penny you pay in rent is reinvested back to provide new homes and services for you and your community.

When is your rent due?

Your rent is due weekly in advance on a Monday. However, if agreed at the time of signing the tenancy, we accept four weekly or monthly payments. Please note, payments in advance are applicable to all residents including those who opt-in for four weekly or monthly payments.

Working example of a monthly payment: If the weekly charge is £100.00, the monthly payment will be £ 100.00 × 52 weeks ÷ 12 months = 433.33 (= monthly rent)