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Rent Setting Policy Consultation

16 Nov 2021

Business news

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It’s that time of year when United Welsh starts to consider our annual rent costs with a view to increasing rent from April 2022.

As our tenants will know, we currently align our general rents to the National Living Wage, which means rents are to be no more than 28% of National Living Wage or 33% where service charges are included.  This is in line with recommendations made by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Some of our rents exceed this affordability threshold, and we have been reducing or freezing rents on those properties for the last two years to transition them over time to align with our policy commitments. We are proposing to do the same this year, thus bringing almost all of our general properties within this threshold.

We are in year 3 of a 5-year rent settlement agreed by the Welsh Government, which enables a maximum rent increase of CPI plus 1% (based on September CPI figures). However, given that inflation has caused CPI to increase to 3.1% in September,  landlords may be encouraged to increase their rents by a maximum of CPI only (not CPI plus 1%).  On this basis, we are proposing to increase rents by an average of 3.1%. Because we have made the commitment to reduce or freeze those rents that exceed our affordability threshold, other properties may receive a slightly higher increase, in order to reach the overall average of 3.1%.

We understand that this is a difficult time for people and rent increases are never popular.  However, applying this rent increase will enable us to continue investing in our properties, such as maintenance and improved energy efficiency. It will also enable us to continue providing all of our additional services to support tenants and communities and build new homes.

Here is a presentation outlining the decision-making processes around our proposed rent increases, and you can watch a recording of the discussion that our tenant ‘Rent Consultation Group’ were invited to here. Please note that only one tenant from the group was in attendance.

We’d really appreciate your views, comments or suggestions on our proposals.

You can email any comments to our Income and Money Advice Manager Karen Thomas at karen.thomas@unitedwelsh.com, or request Karen to give you a call back. Please provide any comments by 15th December 2021.