Your Rent Increase for 2024.
We recognise that this is a financially difficult time for everyone and our increase is below the current rate of inflation.
Our rent increase this year is 6.7% from April 2024 in line with Welsh Government policy. We have also used our rent policy to work out what you should pay. You will see an increase of up to £2 per week over the 6.7% if you are below target rent, and if you are above target rent you will see a decrease of up to 40p per week. These levels are set to ensure the effect on Bron Afon’s finances is neutral and to help ensure the long term financial sustainability of the organisation. We charge rent weekly every Monday and there will be 53 weeks in this calendar year. We have guidance to help you understand what this means for you.
Our rent policy aims to be: simple, fair, easy to understand and follows Welsh Government rules. The policy calculates rent based on the number of bedrooms, the type of property and if it is in North or South Torfaen. This has helped us to decide the rent that you should be paying. We are not moving all customers to this amount of rent straight away, instead we are phasing in the changes over several years. As rents currently vary between the same types of property we will be doing it in the same fair way over time.
Frequently Asked Questions
I claim Universal Credit, what do I need to do?
If you are claiming Universal Credit it is your responsibility to notify the DWP of the rent increase. This can be done by reporting a change of circumstances on your online universal credit account. You can only do this when the new rent amounts are charged from April 1st 2024.
You should remember to only include eligible charges. An eligible charge is a charge that can be included in Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit. For example, the rent charge and any communal charges that make up your total rent due. A charge that is personal to you such as your personal gas or electric charge, is not an eligible charge.
I pay my rent monthly how do I calculate what I need to pay?
Take your new weekly rent amount multiply it by 51 and divide by 12 this will give you the monthly amount you need to pay.
How much will my Direct Debit be from April 2024?
This will depend on lots of things, such as whether or not Housing Benefit or Universal Credit pay some of your rent directly to us or if you are paying off a debt with us. Allpay, our Direct Debit provider will contact you at least five working days before your new Direct Debit is due to be collected to confirm the new amount you will be paying.
If you pay your Direct Debit weekly, fortnightly, or four weekly then your payments will be lower in August and December to account for the rent-free weeks unless you have a debt with us. If you pay your Direct Debit monthly then your payments will be set at a lower level throughout the whole year instead.
When are the “rent-free” weeks?
Rent won’t be charged for the weeks starting Monday 26th August and 30th December 2024. If you are behind with your rent, you must use these weeks to catch up by continuing to make payments.
If you’re able, why not pay a little extra?
Some of our customers have found that having a buffer on their account has been helpful when they’ve either had an unexpected expense or when they’ve moved onto Universal Credit and had to wait at least five weeks for money. You could choose to pay a little extra each week on top of your charges, if you can afford to.
You do not have to do this but many customers have found it helps.
What if I can’t afford to pay a little extra or if I am struggling with my payments?
We would not want anybody to find themselves in financial difficulty so the choice of whether to build up a buffer by paying a little more is entirely up to you. It could be something you want to think about for the future rather than do right now. If you are struggling financially or ever worried about your payments then contact us as soon as possible. We will listen and offer advice and support. We will work with you to agree an affordable payment plan. Don’t delay in getting in touch as this could put your home at risk, which is something we are really keen to help you avoid.
Bron Afon charge rent every week on a Monday and in this year, there will be 53 weeks. Here is some guidance to help you understand what this means for you.
Use this free and confidential Benefits Calculator to find out what benefits you are entitled to claim. In the last year over 3 million calculations have been made by people, like you, looking for information they deserve and need.
For independent advice contact Torfaen Financial Inclusion on 01495 762200 or Citizens Advice Bureau on 01633 973568.