Setting rents and service charges
Every March, we tell customers and leaseholders what their rent and yearly service charges are. We set rent and service charges based on government guidelines.
2023 to 2024
The Regulator of Social Housing wants all registered providers to set their rents the same way and make sure all rents are affordable and fair. The guidelines use the Consumer Price Index. Read more about the Rent Standard and guidance.
Rent is money you pay to us to manage, maintain, repair and improve your home. We use the government guidelines to work out how much rent people pay in all social-rented properties, including supported housing, sheltered housing and extra care schemes.
We include the:
- national average rent
- average earnings in the local area
- national average earnings
- number of bedrooms in the property
- value of the property
- national average property value
For all other types of property, including garages, we use our Rent and Service Charge Policy to work out how much rent people pay.
If your rent amount changes
If you get Housing Benefit, we tell Sunderland City Council, and they will update how much Housing Benefit you get.
If you get housing payment through Universal Credit, your online account will show the most up-to-date version of your claim. You will need to update your rent amount to your new rent.
Your service charges
If your home is in a building that has communal areas or facilities, you usually pay a service charge as well as rent. This includes flats and apartments in:
- high-rise buildings
- low-rise buildings
- sheltered housing schemes
- extra care schemes
We use the past and future costs of communal services to work out service charges for the building.
Service charges cover the costs of many services, including:
- completing fire risk assessments
- maintaining fire alarms, firefighting equipment and emergency lighting
- maintaining lifts
- supplying communal electricity and water
- maintaining and inspecting bin chutes
- water inspections
- cleaning and decorating communal areas
- insuring and repairing the building
- maintaining the land around your building, like cutting grass and gardening
If you pay service charges, we will give you a detailed list of what you pay for. Housing Benefit or Universal Credit may cover all or part of your service charges.
Water and sewerage charges for your home are shown separately to service charges. If your home has a metered supply, you will get a separate bill from Northumbrian Water.
If your service charges change
If you get Housing Benefit, we tell Sunderland City Council, and they will update how much Housing Benefit you get for eligible service charges.
If you get housing payment through Universal Credit, your online account will show the most up-to-date version of your claim. You will need to update your eligible service charges.
If you think your rent or service charge is incorrect
Call 0191 525 5000 and select option 4.
If you are a leaseholder, you can:
If you think your rent or service charge is too high, you can appeal to an independent Rent Assessment Committee. The committee is part of the Property Chamber. They will compare rents and service charges for similar properties in your area.
If they think we have set your rent or service charge too high, they will tell us to reduce it.
The committee may decide that your rent and service charges are correct or too low and set a higher one.
Getting help to pay your rent and service charges
If you are on a low income, you may be eligible to get help with your housing costs.