How we set your rent and service charges

We aim to provide quality, safe, affordable homes at lower rents than the private sector 


Many people are facing difficult choices due to changes affecting their money. Please do speak to us if you become concerned about being able to pay your rent.  The earlier you talk to us the faster we can help. Find out more here

Coastal is a social business with rents as the primary income stream. We don’t make profits for shareholders and all income pays for the buildings and services we provide. The costs of building and services typically increase annually, and we apply an annual uplift to the rent roll to ensure we can continue to provide safe buildings and quality services 

You can read our Rent Management Policy here.

The below animation explains more about how we set your rent:


Questions you may have about rent and service charge changes

My rent / service charge has changed what do I need to do?

If you pay your rent by Direct Debit, we’ll automatically start collecting the new amount from 26th March 2023. Many people find it easier to pay by Direct Debit for this reason. To set up a Direct Debit just call us on 01792 479200 and press option 1 or ask your  Community Housing Officer to set it up with you.  

If you receive Universal Credit, you’ll need to inform your work coach of the increase or update your online journal during your assessment period that includes the date of change. We recommend you check your Universal Credit statement to ensure the increase has been applied. 

If you receive Housing Benefit payments and these are sent direct to Coastal, we’ll inform Housing Benefit of the new rent amount. However, you need to check that the amount shown on your Housing Benefit letter matches the new rent in your personalised rent letter. If these are different, please call us. If you receive your Housing Benefit direct, you’ll need to inform them that your rent is changing. 

If you pay your rent another way, then from 1st April 2023 you’ll need to pay the new amount shown in your personal rent letter. 

I can’t afford to pay my rent / service charges – what can I do?

If you are worried about paying your rent and/or charges, please talk to us at the earliest opportunity. We know making the first step to ask for help can be daunting but please do speak to us as soon as you become concerned about being able to pay. The earlier you talk to us the faster we can help.  

Please contact your Community Housing Officer or call us on 01792 479200 and press option 1.

More information on how we can help you can be found at 

Why has my rent changed?

Coastal is a social business with rents as the primary income stream. We don’t make profits for shareholders and all income pays for the buildings and services we provide. The costs of building and services typically increase annually, and we apply an annual uplift to the rent roll to ensure we can continue to provide safe buildings and quality services.  

To reflect the current challenging economic conditions, Welsh Government capped the amount that rents can increase in 2023/24 at +6.5%. However, this is still well below the rate of inflation. We are doing everything we can to minimise the impact on residents of these costs. Our approach takes into account affordability, resident feedback, financial viability and our values as a company. 

Coastal aims to provide safe, quality homes for less than you’d pay a private landlord.

What is my rent spent on?

Rent pays for services and work that ensures compliance with building safety needs, day-to-day repairs and longer-term maintenance such as replacement kitchen and window programmes and work to improve the energy efficiency of homes. For 2021/22, the average spend per social housing property was £877 for reactive repairs and £812 for major repairs. This doesn’t mean every home had this amount but is an average across all homes.  

The rent also pays for Coastal staff and contractors and the services they provide. It also enables the repayment of loans to build and maintain homes.  

Why do you need loans?

Coastal receives approximately 50% grant to build new homes so we must access private finance to cover all the costs of building more housing. As well as building new energy efficient homes for the future, we are also repaying loans on existing homes that we’ve developed – many of which (like mortgages) are set over long periods. 

How do you decide how much my rent changes?

We consider the following when setting rents: 

  • Obligations to Welsh Government related to rent setting 
  • Coastal’s 30-year financial business plan and annual budget setting
  • Coastal’s rent setting policy 
  • Resident feedback on affordability
  • Analysis of current rents using two affordability tests: 
    • Analysis of local income and earnings levels  
    • Analysis of local market rents 
  • Scheme/property specific considerations e.g., low demand properties, energy performance 
  • Applicable service charges 
  • The executive team present this analysis to Coastal’s board of non-executive directors  

Coastal’s board make the final decision on rent changes, ensuring this is under the maximum set by Welsh Government. For 2023/24, this is capped as +6.5% to the overall rent roll. This reflects the challenging current economic conditions but is well below the rate of inflation. 

Doesn’t Welsh Government set rents for housing associations?

No. Welsh Government provides rent control for ‘social rent’ properties through the Rent and Service Charge Standard. This standard runs to 2025 and permits rents to be increased by a maximum of September Consumer Prices Index (CPI) +1% (in aggregate) as long as a number of conditions are met. However, if CPI falls outside of the range 0% to 3%, Welsh Government ‘calls in’ the decision for that year. 

For 2023/24 rents, Welsh Government called in the decision and capped the maximum rent increase at +6.5% overall. You can read more about this here –  

 *CPI is published by the Office for National Statistics. It measures the average change from month to month in the prices of goods and services purchased by most households in the UK. The government uses the CPI as the basis for its inflation target and for uprating of state pensions and state benefits. 

Which properties are outside of Welsh Government restrictions?

Many of the properties Coastal own and manage are not defined by the term ‘social rent’ and therefore are not subject to Welsh Governments’ Rent and Service Charge Standard. This includes extra care housing, supported housing, intermediate rent properties, Welsh Housing Partnership properties, etc. These rents are set by Coastal and we have also capped increases well below inflation at 6.5% 

Shared ownership, leasehold and ground rent increases are typically in line with the specified contract terms. 

Why have my service charges changed?

We operate a variable service system, which means charges to residents are adjusted regularly to reflect our best estimate of the cost in the following charging period. Charges are adjusted in line with the clause in the tenancy agreement/occupation contract.  

Service charges are an analysis of the actual costs to provide each service. Some service charges are varied by the amount that is used and change year to year based on this, for example communal water rates and electricity. Some costs are fixed as they cover the actual costs of purchase and installation, for example door entry systems, spread over their lifetime usage. Other costs are fixed but change when contracts are revised or renewed, for example lift servicing contracts. With other services there is more flexibility, for example how often windows or communal areas are cleaned and the frequency of estates services.  

We keep under continual review how cleaning and estates services operate and reorganise this where we can, to provide the right levels of service for the best value. This year we’re looking at changes that could reduce costs whilst maintaining levels of service. For example, reducing the number of vehicles used by caretakers, sharing vans to decrease fleet (and fuel) costs and having caretakers buddying up on estates to manage the work differently. You might see some changes to the way your services are delivered as a result of these changes, but we expect quality and service levels will be maintained. We are planning to capture resident views more systematically in future to inform continual reviews and ensure value for money. 

What changes did the Renting Homes (Wales) Act bring re my rent?

The Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 (which went live in December 2022) was the biggest change to housing legislations in decades. In terms of rents, it now requires residents to receive two months’ notice before any rent changes and a copy of an RHW12 Notice of Variation of Rent to be provided when changes are made.  

You can find out more about the Act here 

What resident engagement have you done and how can I get involved?

We consulted residents on our approach to rent setting in 2022. We were told that most consider Coastal rents to be affordable and that rents should be set in reference to local income and earnings, as well as set differently according to property size, features and locality. This helped shape our rent setting policy. 

There are around 200 residents who expressed an interest in talking with us about rents, charges and affordability in the 2021 resident survey. If you would like to be part of this group, please call us on 01792 479200 or email us at and ask to be added. 

We also consulted residents on our approach to some service charges in 2022. We were told that the cleaning and estates services are valued and there was no mandate to reduce these services to counter increases in utilities or other areas. 

We are establishing a method for regular feedback from residents on service charges, to gather scheme specific feedback on flexible service charges.  

I have changed from weekly to monthly payments, how was my rent calculated?

We wrote to all tenants recently inviting them to sign up to our new tenancy agreement and if your rent was charged weekly we offered to change this to monthly.  The information on your letter shows the weekly rent for 2022/23 and the monthly figure for 2023/24.  The monthly amount has been calculated using the weekly figure for 2023/24 and then converted to a monthly amount. 


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