Service Charge - Coastal Housing Group

Have your say on Service Charges and you could win a new iPad!

We want residents to have more choice over the services Coastal provides

Your total rent is made up of 2 things: rent and service charges. We want our rents to be affordable for everyone but we know that service charges can sometimes make our rents higher than we’d want them to be.

We’re asking anyone who rents a home from us to give us their views on the services we provide so we can offer more choice and flexibility over these wherever possible.

The survey is only open to Coastal residents and all valid, completed survey submissions* will be entered into a free prize draw for an Apple iPad.

*1 survey submission per household. Opt in to free draw during survey completion.

Take me to the survey

More info on rents and service charges

How rents are calculated

Our 2020 rent change process

Working safely in your home

We're bringing more services back

What about charges for services disrupted by Covid-19 /Coronavirus?

In the early stages of the Coronavirus pandemic we took the decision to suspend many services – including those that are service chargeable like communal cleaning and grounds maintenance. We have maintained detailed information regarding which services continued and which were suspended during this time and will make any adjustments in the 2021 charges in line with the variable regime.

To make sure you have the full picture, it’s important to note that there are a number of factors to consider in relation to this.

·     Your tenancy agreement may take situations such as these into account, clarifying expectations on landlords for any adjustments in periods when they have been unable to provide services. Please check your contract and get in touch if you have any queries.

·     Coastal did furlough staff whose work was affected by the lockdown imposed by UK and Welsh Government, so the income generated from that will be a factor to be included.

·     We are seeing increased costs in delivering services now they’ve resumed, largely arising from the continued restrictions in place in terms of the 2M distancing laws, enhanced protective equipment, travel constraints, etc. so these too will be factored in.

How are rents calculated?

The total rent you pay to Coastal for your home is made up of 2 things:

1.  Rent

2. Service charges.

Rent covers the repayment of loans Coastal takes out to build homes as well as their day-to-day and long-term maintenance eg. replacement kitchens. Coastal’s rents are set by its Board of Management. Each year we analyse our rents on their affordability and demonstrate to Welsh Government that we have made any changes in line with their controls and policies.

Like all housing associations in Wales, Coastal’s rents are regulated by Welsh Government to make sure they are affordable. Every year they set a maximum of how much, overall, rents can go up by. When we change our rents we share how we compare to Welsh Government’s overall maximum.

The maximum rent change in 2020 was 2.7% overall (set by Welsh Government)

Coastal Housing’s rent change in 2020 was 2.3% overall

Unlike some other housing associations, Coastal doesn’t apply the same change to every rent regardless of what type of home it is or where it’s located. We look at each property individually, as well as the local housing market, to continually assess affordability and make changes based on what we learn. That means that whilst our overall rent change in 2020 was 2.3%, for some residents their rent stayed the same or even went down, whilst others may have seen an increase higher than 2.3%. You can find out more about our rent change process in this video.

Service charges are the costs of providing a range of features and services to a home, building, scheme or estate. They include costs for features like door entry systems and for services including communal utilities, cleaning and grass-cutting. You can find a full breakdown of the service charges you pay included with the recent letter we sent to you about the Service Charge Survey.

Like rents, service charges are changed every year and are calculated on what it costs to provide each service and cover the cost of items that may need to be replaced.

Some people get financial help with housing costs through Universal Credit or Housing Benefit. Not all service charges are eligible for these benefits and some can be eligible for one but not the other. These are often called ‘ineligible’ charges and have to be paid directly to Coastal by residents.

We want residents to have more choice and flexibility over the services Coastal provides. To do this we need you to give us your views in the Service Charge Survey.