When should I pay my rent?
Your tenancy agreement says that you should pay your rent every week. You can also choose to pay fortnightly or monthly. Your rent is payable to Gloucester City Council. Gloucester City Homes manages your home on behalf of the City Council.
We charge you rent either 48 or 49 weeks per year. This means you can have 4 rent free weeks a year as long as you are not in arrears. If you have arrears we expect you to use these weeks as a chance to pay the debt off. We send you a rent calendar once a year so you know when the rent free weeks are (usually there are 5 Mondays in a month.)
Rent free weeks
Monday 29th July 2013
Monday 30th September 2013
Monday 30th December 2013
Monday 31st March 2014
When you sign up for a tenancy, if you are a joint tenant you both become responsible for the rent. You are still responsible for the rent even if one of you leaves your home, as long as you are still on the tenancy.
How are rent and service charges set?
Gloucester City Council sets your rent using a Government formula. This aims to ensure that rents for similar homes in similar areas of the country are the same, regardless of whether the landlord is a council, or a registered provider such as a housing association. The Government aims to complete this rent restructuring by 2012. For more information visit the Communities and Local Government website.
Your rent normally changes overy April. GCH Customer Forum approves the change. We then recommend the change to the City Council who have the final decision. The change is normally an increase, although this is not always the case.
Supporting People charges
You pay Supporting People charges if you live in sheltered housing. The charge covers support services including the help your Community Scheme Manager gives you.
regularly checking on your well-being
responding to emergencies
the cost of your emergency alarm system
the on-call 24 hours-a-day duty managers, and
the round-the-clock emergency call centre.
We base the support charges on the actual cost of the service and review them yearly.
These charges may be paid by the Supporting People grant if you are on Housing Benefit. Otherwise we will arrange for a Financial Assessment Officer to visit you to see if you can get any help. if you don't qualify you will have to pay the charge yourself.
For more information about Supporting People charges, please contact us.
Other service charges
Your rent is made up of different charges depending on where you live and what type of home you live in.
You pay service charges for services like cleaning communal areas or cutting grass around flats. We base the charges on the actual cost of the service.
If you live in Westgate, your home may be connected to the communal heating system. You will pay a weekly amount to cover the heating charge and then get an annual bill. If you have paid too much you will get a refund. If you have not paid enough, you will need to pay the outstanding amount.
Please select this link to view our Rent and Service Charge leaflet for 2013-2014
Some of these charges may qualify for Housing Benefit. Please contact us for advice.
Telling you about any change in your rent or charges
We will notify you of any changes in your Supporting People or service charge in late February or March each year. This gives you at least 4 weeks’ notice of any change.
Our service standards
tell you when the rent-free weeks each year in the leaflet we send you when we tell you of any changes in your rent or other charges
give you a copy of the rent-free week calendar in 1 working day if you ask us for another copy
put the rent-free week dates on our website
give you at least 4 weeks notice of any change to your rent or other charges
explain in any rent or service change letter how we set rents and service charges and why any changes are needed
give you a leaflet that explains how rent and charges are being restructured in line with government guidelines
explain that if you disagree with the change in your rent, you have the right to give us 4 weeks notice if you intend to leave your home.
Please note this is not because we want you to leave. We have to tell you of your legal right to give notice in this situation.