We use our rent and service charge policy to work out rents for each home. It's based on a points system.

Points are awarded depending on the size and type of home you live in and if your home has double glazing, central heating or a garden. It is also based on services you get such as landscape maintenance and stair cleaning

As a non-profit company, any surpluses we make are re-invested in the business which includes building homes and improving homes and services.

Where does my rent go?

Your rent is our main source of income. It covers:

  • Day to day repairs, maintenance and management services
  • Improvements or replacements for things we cannot repair
  • Loans we have taken out to build new homes
  • Costs of running offices and paying our staff
  • Rent lost through arrears and empty properties

Service charges

You may have to pay a charge for other services as well as your housing depending on where you live. This can be for services such as:

  • Stair lighting
  • Communal electricity
  • Caretaker service.

Your tenancy agreement and rent review notice contains details of the services you receive and the associated costs.

Increases in rent

We must consult you if we are proposing to increase your rent. We'll write to you at least 28 days before any proposed increase is due. We change our rents and service charges in April each year.

Customers who retain a Fair Rent, generally tenancies that started before 1989, have their rent increased every 3 years.


Rent and service charges FAQs

Rent is our main source of income and helps to pay for maintenance, repairs, and housing management, as well as supporting us to continue investing in communities. 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.

We want to support customers who may need help as a result of the changes to charges.  Please contact our Income Recovery Team on 0131 657 0600. Lines are open 9am-5pm Monday to Thursday and 9am-4pm on Fridays (excluding bank holidays).

Your charge will depend on the type of property and tenancy you have.  We have different property and tenancy types within the same areas. This may result in differences in rent charges where the properties and tenancy types are not the same. Your rent will be legally compliant with the terms on which the property was let to you, but if you think something is wrong please contact us.

Universal Credit 

If you claim Universal Credit, you will need to report this change using your online account or by using the Universal Credit helpline 0800 328 5644, quoting your new rent and service charge amounts.   

Reporting the change needs to be done as soon as possible after the new charge starts. 

After you have reported the change we are asked if this is the correct current charge.   

  • If you report it too early your current charge will be your old amount and mean the update is rejected and you will need to report it again once the new charge starts.
  • If you report it too late, after a month from when the charges start, Universal Credit will not backdate the change, and you will miss out on your entitlement and mean you will have to pay the difference.

 

Housing Benefit

If you currently receive Housing Benefit and this is paid directly to us, we will notify your local Housing Benefit office of the changes. If you receive the payment, you must provide a copy of your increase letter to your local Housing Benefit office as quickly as possible.

If you are in the process of claiming Housing Benefit, it is very important you contact your local Housing Benefit office immediately to ensure your payments reflect the new charges. Some Housing Benefit offices may accept an email or posted copy of your increase letter, please check with them first.

If you do not currently receive Housing Benefit, you should check whether you are now entitled to it following the change to your charges. We can help with this, or you can contact your local Housing Benefit office, or an advice agency such as Citizens Advice Bureau.

 

Direct Debit

If you pay by Direct Debit you do not need to do anything.  We will amend your payment automatically. We will send you a separate letter confirming your Direct Debit instalment amounts around mid-March 2021.

If you would like to start making payments by Direct Debit, please visit our Help and support or call us on 0131 657 0600.  We can usually set up a Direct Debit over the phone

 

Standing Order

We cannot change your standing order for you.  You need to contact your bank direct.  You may be able to do this: 

  • Online - if you have created an online account with your bank 
  • By phone – if you have set up telephone banking 
  • In branch – check current opening hours 

If you have a repayment agreement in place, you will need to add this amount onto the new charge. 

The amount you pay will depend on the type of agreement you have. If you are unsure, your tenancy or lease agreement will tell you, or you can ask us.

Scottish Secure Tenancies (SST), Short SSTs and Occupancy Agreements

Our rent policy allows for a maximum increase of September’s RPI plus 1%. The RPI is the Retail Price Index. This represents the increase in the cost of goods and services in the previous 12 months and is published each month by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Further information on rent setting, can be found in our Rent and Service Charge Policy, which is available on request.

Shared Ownership

Occupancy Charges for Shared Ownership are calculated using the rent policy noted above, but are subject to deductions for maintenance and insurance and part of the management cost. The charge is then applied for the % of the property owned, either 25%, 50% or 75%. A breakdown of the calculation is included with the annual increase letter.

Service charges are for services provided to you that are not covered by the rent charge. These include charges for care and support provided by other agencies as part of your agreement, personal heating where your development has a communal heating boiler and an administration charge for managing these.

We will let you know if your services can be paid by Housing Benefit in the breakdown included with your increase letter. Services noted as “HBE” (Housing Benefit Eligible) can be paid, and those noted as “HBI” (Housing Benefit Ineligible) cannot. This is decided by Housing Benefit Regulations.

For those in receipt of Universal Credit (which includes a housing cost element) there may be some differences from Housing Benefit. If you have a query with your service charge eligibility you should contact the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) in the first instance, by using your online account or by using the Universal Credit helpline 0800 328 5644.

These charges are based on the usage taken from meter readings and allow for inflation and contract prices set by the utility companies.

This is to cover management costs such as staff time, systems and offices in order to deliver the services provided. This is calculated at 15% of the total service charge, or 7.5% of other agencies’ support costs.

These are the questions asked most often by our customers.  If these do not answer your question, please email us email at customer@castlerockedinvar.co.uk or contact us on 0131 657 0600.

Lines are open Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm and Friday from 9am to 4pm (excluding bank holidays).