We are committed to giving you good quality information that is easy to understand. We also want to involve you in decisions that may affect your home, your neighbourhood or your future.

We will consult you on things that may affect your tenancy. We must consult you for example if we are making or changing:

  • Housing, repairs or maintenance services if the changes are likely to affect you
  • Rent and service charges
  • Performance standards in housing, repairs and maintenance
  • Participation strategy.

Changes to the emergency repairs criteria and timescales

To make sure customers receive help quickly for emergency repairs we reviewed and updated our emergency repairs criteria. This is so that we can focus our resources when and where our customers need it most.

We asked about satisfaction with the revised emergency repairs target of 24 hours and this scored 6.64 out of 10.The consultation closed on 28 November and we received 162 responses. The percentage of respondents who agreed with the changes to the criteria was as follows:

  • 85% - electrical
  • 86% - water related
  • 83% - gas related
  • 90% - asbestos
  • 85% - security and day to day living
  • 89%  - external emergency repairs.

Rent Consultation 2022-23 – Improving Affordability and Fairness

We want your feedback on our rent increase proposals before any final decision is made. Here is a summary of our position.

You can read more detail here as well as finding out how to give us your feedback.

The deadline for feedback is 28 November 2021.

  • We follow rent increase guidance from the Scottish Housing Regulator.
  • We use the Scottish Federation of Housing Association’s Affordability Tool. This tests if our rents meet the recommended affordability level of 30% of all income which includes benefits.
  • Our rent policy is usually the September retail price index (RPI) rate plus 1%
  • This year RPI is 4.9% which could mean a possible 5.9% increase if we choose to follow that policy.
  • In two of the last four years our rent increases were lower than RPI.
  • We know that incomes are being squeezed right now and that will be a worry for some.
  • We want to improve affordability across all our rents. We want to get everyone as close to that 30% level as possible next year. We will continue to improve affordability in coming years.
  • This year we want your thoughts on a flexible approach where we will vary the increase for different households to improve affordability and fairness. The range we are proposing is 1% to 3.9%. This is below inflation.
  • The essential costs to build, manage, maintain, and improve your homes are increasing with the high level of inflation. We need to make sure we can cover these increased costs.
  • We will continue to invest in our services and in your home. (See “Quality of repairs and the standard of our properties” below.)
  • We need to meet energy and fire safety standards.
  • We plan to build more affordable homes. (See “New affordable homes” below.)
  • We will make the final decision on the rent increase in December 2021 after getting your feedback.

Proposals to change the emergency repairs criteria and timescales

To make sure customers receive help quickly for emergency repairs we have reviewed and updated our emergency repairs criteria. This is so that we can focus our resources when and where our customers need it most.

We also want to get your feedback on changes to the timescales for emergency repairs. We would like your feedback on these proposals. The proposals can be found here, and we would appreciate your feedback by Sunday 28 November 2021.

Rent increase consultation 2021-22 outcome - 2.0% increase agreed

We invited feedback from customers on a proposed 2.1% rent increase from 1 April 2021. The consultation took place from 6 January to 20 January 2021. 391 customers completed the survey which is an increase from the consultation last year (305). You can read the consultation paper here. If you would like a print copy of this information please contact us.

Financial considerations

The rent increase follows the guidance from the Scottish Housing Regulator which asks registered social landlords to balance affordability and the ability to deliver services and manage properties. Our rent increase can be up to a maximum of inflation plus 1%. We use the September’s retail price index (RPI):

 RPI – retail price index

 %

 Rent Increase

 %

 September 2016

 1.0

 2017-18

 2.0

 September 2017

 2.0

 2018-19

 3.0

 September 2018

 3.0

 2019-20

 2.5

 September 2019

 2.5

 2020-21

 2.4

 September 2020

 1.1

 2021-22

 2.1

We must be financially strong to deliver our planned investment programme, maintain the quality of our services and at the same manage any downturn.

Rent is our main source of income and pays for maintenance, repairs and housing management. Income from rents has allowed us to keep essential services running throughout the current challenges of the pandemic and meet the increased demand for emergency repairs.

Our priority has been to keep our customers and colleagues safe. We have continued to carry out all essential gas and electric works, as well as other essential safety checks. Cleaning and grounds maintenance services have continued whenever possible in our communities and we have completed repairs in empty properties so we can let them to customers in need of housing. We have also had to meet the additional costs of ensuring we can keep our colleagues and customers safe whilst working in their homes.

In 2019-20, 18p in every £1 collected was available for reinvestment and we used this to develop new homes. We will build 168 homes for those in need this year, contributing to the Scottish Government’s housing targets.

We also spent 34 pence in every pound on planned maintenance and major repairs last year and will spend £9.73 million in 2021-2022 to improve the quality and energy efficiency of customer’s homes.

We have continued to operate and maintain services in line with Scottish Government guidelines throughout the pandemic and have avoided putting any staff on furlough. The health and wellbeing of customers, contractors and colleagues remains our priority. 

How we measure affordability

Since 2018 we have used the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) affordability tool for our affordability tests on rents. A “moderate incomes” approach using income data just above the level that would make households typically eligible for Housing Benefit has been developed. The lowest 30% of earnings is the benchmark, then adjustments are made for differences between single households, families, and pensioners. Our aim is to balance rents for customers and align their rents to 30% of their income.

For more information on the rent review, and to see answers to frequently asked questions, please visit. Information on the help and support available if you are in financial difficulty is available here.