Setting rents and service charges

Every March, we tell tenants and leaseholders what their rent and yearly service charges are. We set rent and service charges based on government guidelines.

Your rent

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 sheltered housing and extra care schemes.

We include the:

  • number of bedrooms
  • value of your property
  • national average housing association rent
  • average earnings in Tyne and Wear and compare them to the national average
  • national average housing association property value

For all other types of property, including garages, we use our Rent 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 update your claim.

If you get housing payment through Universal Credit, your online account will show the most up-to-date version of your claim.

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 blocks
  • low-rise blocks
  • sheltered housing schemes
  • extra care schemes

We base service charges on past and known future costs of the services for the building.

Service charges cover the costs of many services, including:

  • maintaining the land around your building, like cutting grass and gardening
  • cleaning communal areas
  • decorating communal areas
  • maintaining fire alarms, emergency lighting and lifts
  • providing communal electricity and water
  • insuring the building
  • repairing the building

If you pay a service charge, we will give you a detailed list of what your service charge pays for. Housing Benefit or Universal Credit may cover your service charge.

Water rates and sewerage charges are shown separately to service charges unless your home has a metered supply.

Rents and service charges in 2022 to 2023

Find out more about changes we are making to rents and service charges in 2022 to 2023.

If you think your rent or service charge is incorrect

If you think your rent or service charge is incorrect, contact your Neighbourhood Co-ordinator.

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 charge is correct or too low and set a higher one.

Find out how to contact the Property Chamber.

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.

If you are having difficulty paying your rent, we can help you to manage your money. You can also contact your Neighbourhood Co-ordinator to let them know you are having difficulty paying your rent.

Find out more about paying your rent and service charges.