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Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk

Your Rent and Service Charges for April 2016 to March 2017

How your rent is set

For existing tenants, the rent that will be charged from April 2016 will be decreased by 1%. This is in line with the new policy that was first announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer as part of his Budget Statement in July 2015 and confirmed in the Spending Review as part of his Autumn Statement in November 2015. As a result of this change, the average rent for council tenancies will be around £88.58 per week. This represents the weekly rent that is payable over 48 weeks and takes into account the 4 weeks rent payment holidays, 2 weeks in December 2016 and 2 weeks in March 2017. The average weekly rent (over 48 weeks) is equivalent to an average rent over 52 weeks of £81.78.

For new tenants, rent charges will be set at 'formula rents' as set out in the Government publication "Guidance on Rents for Social Housing" as published in May 2014.

How your service charge levels are set

Service Charges are set in line with national guidelines, which means that service charges have to be separated from the rent charge, called ‘net rent’ and reflect the cost of providing such services. A range of service charges can be payable depending on the services provided to support the management of your property which may include; night time security, communal cleaning, communal lighting and/or sheltered accommodation. A breakdown of the services that you pay for will be shown on your rent notification letter and are also shown on your quarterly rent statement if your account is in arrears. Tenants can access their rent statement and service charge information via their online account.

Most Service charges will increase by an average of 0.9% from April 2016 to reflect the increased costs of providing those services. The exception to this will be the cleaning charge which will increase by 2.5% from April 2016.

The service charges for caretaking and cleaning charges are worked out by the number of eligible properties in the district where the other types of service charges are calculated on a citywide basis. Note that service charges are also charged over 48 weeks to take account of the 4 payment holidays, the net rent and the service charge added together is known as the total or gross rent.

Has the rent on my garage increased?

Yes, the average garage rent has increased from £5.91 a week to £6.45 a week (excluding VAT). This is an average increase of 9.1%.

For further information visit our Renting a Garage page.


I am unable to afford my new rent, what options do I have?

If your circumstances have changed you may be eligible to Housing Benefit. You can make a claim online at www.birmingham.gov.uk/benefits.

You may also wish to consider alternative options such as a mutual exchange or a transfer. For further information visit www.birminghamhomechoice.org.uk.

Where can I find help to manage my money?

If you are experiencing problems paying your rent or have multiple debts, you can visit www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk for free and impartial advice.

I am unable to afford my new rent, what options do I have?

If you are facing debt or rent arrears, please contact Rent Service on 0121 675 2006 as soon as possible. The earlier you speak to us, the more we can help. Birmingham City Council’s trained staff are able to give advice to tenants including help with applying for housing benefit and or referrals to our specialist Debt Advice team.

If your circumstances have changed you may be eligible to Housing Benefit. You can make a claim online at www.birmingham.gov.uk/benefits.

You may also wish to consider alternative options such as a mutual exchange or a transfer. For further information visit www.birminghamhomechoice.org.uk.

Where can I find help to manage my money?

The links below will take you to useful websites that will help you make the most of your money:

Benefits Calculator - Get an estimate of what benefits you could get (including Housing Benefit).

Make a Housing Benefit claim online - If you are having problems paying your rent or Council Tax, then you might be able to get help towards paying these bills.

Report a change in circumstances to Benefits - If your circumstances have changed report this online to Benefit Services.

The Money Advice Service - Carry out a free online money health check or use some of the other helpful online tools, such as the money stretcher calculator.

Citizens Advice Bureau - Get free online advice on your rights including benefits, housing, employment, debt and legal matters.

Birmingham City Council Debt Advice Service - The Debt Advice Team takes a realistic and practical approach to helping people who are experiencing severe debt problems.

Department of Work and Pensions - Get information on benefits, pensions and jobs.

Citysave Credit Union - This is a community based financial organisation. It offers accounts such as savings, bill payment and budgeting and loans.

Loan Sharks - Find out how to get help if you have been affected by illegal money lenders (also known as loan sharks).