Annual rent changes are primarily based on Welsh Government’s Rent and Service Charge Standard, a 5-year plan which came into force in 2020. Increases are linked to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), a measure of inflation, however this only applies when the CPI is between 0% to 3%. Due to the increasing level of inflation in the UK in 2022, the September CPI index was 10.1%, which is beyond the range that the standard works within. This meant that the Welsh Government Minister had to set the maximum overall rent increase for 2023-24.
The increase from April 2023 has been set at a maximum of 6.5% plus £2 per week for each property. Whilst higher than recent years, this represents a below inflation increase to rents. To determine individual rent uplifts at Pobl, we have combined the Minister’s decision with our own rent policy to ensure our charges remain affordable, resulting in all uplifts staying below the maximum set by Welsh Government. Our policy considers factors such as local earnings and property types, whilst our assessments at the point of matching a customer with a property are based on ensuring affordability and sustainability for customers.
We have balanced our rent setting with a review of existing service charges, ensuring customers are being charged in line with their occupation contract. For some customers this has led to a reduction in overall costs whilst others may see an increase – a breakdown of any service charges relating to your contract is provided at the end of your rent uplift letter. We have worked hard to ensure costs remain fair and will continue to do so moving forward to support our customers and ensure that Pobl, as a responsible landlord, is providing value for money in the services we provide.