Rent and service charges: Scotland
Published on 27 February 2023
Annual Charge Review 1 April 2023
Each year we review your rent and service charges. If your rent and services are to change from 1 April 2023, we will send you a letter about your new rent and service charges between 26 February and 1 March 2023.
We would like to help you understand the changes to your rent and service charges and help you to be ready for these changes. We know you may have questions about these charges and have included below some of the questions that are asked most frequently by our customers.
We understand this may have an impact on you. If you are concerned you will not be able to make these payments or have a question that is not listed below, please contact us and we will discuss the options and support available to you.
Cost of living support
We also offer a wide range of support to help with the cost of living:
- Money and benefits
- Accessing emergency food
- Staying warm
- Employment and training
For more information on the support available, please click here.
Frequently asked questions
How can I manage my account online?
Please click here to register or log in to manage your account online. Having an online account makes it even easier to manage your home with us. It's free, easy to register and you get all of these great benefits:
- Manage your money: check your account, history, and payments
- Access anytime: 24/7, 365 days a year
- Safe and secure: we use the latest security software and password protection
- No more paper: reduce post, cut down filing and help the environment
- Keep up to date: change personal details like telephone numbers and email addresses
Can I pay my rent by Direct Debit?
Yes, we recommend you pay your rent by Direct Debit and we can arrange this easily for you over the telephone. This can be set up weekly or monthly and there are several dates available. There are no extra charges and you are guaranteed a refund from your bank or building society in the unlikely event that anything goes wrong.
What if I can’t afford to pay the new amount?
We want to support customers who may need help if they are experiencing financial difficulty or may find themselves experiencing financial difficulty as a result of the changes to the charges.
If you would like to talk to us about the support available, please contact our Customer Accounts Team on 0131 657 0600. Lines are open 9am-5pm Monday to Thursday and 9am-4pm on Fridays (excluding bank holidays). You can also click here to find help and support available to help with finances.
Why do I have a different charge to my friend/neighbour?
The total rent you pay will depend on the type of property and tenancy you have. We have different property and tenancy types and tenancy start dates within the same areas. This sometimes means a difference in rent charges where the properties and tenancy types are not the same. Your rent is reviewed in line with the terms set out in your tenancy agreement, but if you think something is wrong, please contact us.
Why have you applied different increases in different areas?
We are continuing to improve fairness and affordability on rent for our customers across Scotland. Last year we improved the average rent affordability. We reduced the average household income spent on rent, from 30.7% to 29.0% by September 2022. We did this by reviewing the rents on a range from 0% to 3.9% across different local authorities in 2021 to 2022.
Now that the Scottish Government has confirmed we can review rents, we are increasing them below inflation rates for 2022 to 2023 and within a range of 0% to 5.9%. The increase applied to your rent is dependent on the average affordability of rents in your area. This is why some customers rents will not increase and some rents will increase by amounts up to 5.9%.
How are my charges calculated?
The amount you pay will depend on the type of agreement, start date of tenancy and type of property you have with us. If you do not know what type of tenancy you have 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, just send us an email to PFPScustomer@placesforpeoplescotland.co.uk or call us on 0131 657 0600. Lines are open Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm and Friday from 9am to 4pm (excluding bank holidays).
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.
What are service charges?
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.
Are service charges paid for by Housing Benefit?
We will let you know if your services can be paid by HB 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.
Are service charges paid for by Universal Credit?
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 Universal Credit helpline 0800 328 5644 in the first instance.
If you do not receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit at the moment, you should check whether you are now entitled to it following the change to your charges by clicking here or by calling the Universal Credit helpline 0800 328 5644.
How have my personal or communal utility charges been calculated?
These charges are based on the usage taken from meter readings and contract prices set by the utility companies. Our new energy contracts have higher energy rate charges than our previous contracts and means the cost to you will increase for the energy used in 2023 and 2024.
What is the administration charge for?
This is to cover management costs such as our people’s time, systems, and offices in order to deliver the services provided.
I can’t find an answer to my question
These are the questions asked most often by our customers. If you have a question that is not listed above, or you would like to discuss a question further please: