Tenant Consultations

Rent Consultation 2022 / 2023

Introduction

On an annual basis we are required to consult with our tenants about any proposed rent increase to be applied from the following April. Our Board has agreed to consult with tenants on one proposal this year that they wish feedback on before they make a final decision at their meeting in January. A summary of all feedback received will be presented to the Board before they make a final decision.

Rent Proposal

The Board met on the 24th November to decide what they should consult with you on, taking into account the challenging circumstances tenants may face, in relation to Coronavirus and increasing costs including energy prices. Our Board were presented with three options based on the following:

  • ·         Increase based on inflation (in September) plus 1% - increase of 4.1%
  • ·         Increase based on inflation (in September) – 3.1%
  • ·         Increase based on previous years business plan assumption – 2.5%

Many of the costs we as an Association pay including maintenance costs increase in line with inflation. We also face the same energy cost increases that many tenants face.

However, Board agreed that given the pressures tenants were under we should only seek the views of tenants on a proposal of a 2.5% increase. This would represent on average a £2.20 weekly increase for tenants. You should have received a letter which will set out exactly what your rent charge would be in the last week.

Key Business Objectives

As well as the planned investment in our homes, on an annual basis we prepare a Corporate Business Plan with a number of Key Business Objectives. The proposed objectives for 2022 / 2023 are as follows:

·        To deliver a successful Transfer of Engagements from Charing Cross HA to WSHA and begin to deliver our Business Case commitments.

·         Review our Factoring Services

·         Deliver our Green Strategy

·         Prepare for Management of Mid Market Rent

·         Review Digital/IT Strategy

·         Develop Investment Strategy for Existing Homes to meet EESSH2

·         Maximise efficiencies in Reactive & Void Repairs Contract

·         Implement new Willowacre Trust Business Plan Business Objectives

·         Review partnership approach to homelessness & tenancy sustainment/support

·         Implement new regulatory requirements and low carbon technologies for new build housing

We would welcome your feedback on these objectives.

Planned Annual Investment

In 2022 / 2023 we intend to spend almost £7m investing in our homes. This figure includes over £3m on day to day repairs and cyclical maintenance projects. We will also spend over £3m on major repairs. This will include over 200 new kitchens, almost 100 new bathrooms, over 50 new boilers and over 200 window installations.

How our rents compare?

As part of the decision around proposed rent increases our Board always ask how our rents compare with others. The below shows our average rental charge and an average rental charge for different landlords across the areas we have homes:

Area

Average weekly rent (including service charges) 21/22

 

West of Scotland Housing Association

 

£89.06

Glasgow North RSLs

 

£93.83

Glasgow East RSLs

 

£85.40

Lanarkshire RSLs

 

£92.24

Ayrshire RSLs

 

£94.25

 

We also know from speaking to other Associations that the average increase being proposed is 2.6%, slightly higher than what we are proposing.

Efficiences

It is a priority for us to keep our rent increases as low as possible on an annual basis and to help us do this we have an annual efficiences plan.

The priorities in this plan are:

  • IT systems - we have invested in this area to help staff improve how they work remotely which will lead to savings in the future. We have alos invested in our tenant portal and are moving towards a tenant app that will allow tenants to have access to a range of services 24 hours a day.
  • Obtaining Services – we continually look to get best value from our service contracts to achieve savings which can lead to future reductions in rent increases. We have also made changes in our mailing process and internal training which have resulted in savings. An increase in digital communications will lead to further savings.
  • Review of processes and procedures – we are undertaking a review of all our processes and procedures with a view utilising our new housing system to automate a number of tasks. We have also undertaken a review of our Housing Services teams to increase the focus on arrears recovery

How you can give your views?

Our Board are keen to hear from you about our proposals on the rental charge and our Key Business Objectives.

You can complete the short survey https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/WSHARent22

Alternatively you can email haveyoursay@westscot.co.uk with your views.

We will host a digital meeting to allow you to give your views – this will take place on Tuesday 11th January at 6pm. If you would like to attend or require support to join please get in touch with us via haveyoursay@westscot.co.uk

Finally if you want to speak to someone you can call us on 0141 550 5060.