2024/25 Rent Charges Notifications
News item published 24/01/2024 and updated 05/02/2024.
Following consultation with tenants and considering the short, medium and long term income needs of the Association, the rental charges for 2024/25 have been determined. Tenants will be receiving a notification letter, before the end of February 2024, detailing the rent charge that applies to their home. All rents are charged in line with the rent structure of the Association – a copy of this is available on our website - /how-rents-are-set/, or please just contact us to request a copy.
Members of our staff team will be out and about hand delivering your rent notification letter.
You might ask “why are you wasting resources with hand delivering letters rather than posting them?”.
Hand delivery is currently required due to an anomaly within the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001, that the Scottish Government has not resolved. We have been writing to the Scottish Government since mid-2023 about this matter but they have not resolved it yet and have given no timeline of when it will be resolved.
When the Scottish Government introduced emergency rent legislation in 2022/2023 it became clear that there was an issue with how tenants throughout Scotland are advised of any changes to their rent charge. It became apparent that rent change notifications should only be issued to tenants by recorded delivery, serving it on the tenant or hand delivery, rather than standard post. This appears to have been the result of an error in the original legislation on rent notifications covered by the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001.
Recorded delivery is problematic for a number of reasons. Firstly, if tenants are not at home when the recorded delivery is attempted then they need to go to the local sorting office to collect the recorded delivery letter. This is inconvenient, time consuming and costly for tenants, especially if the sorting office is not near their home. Secondly, if a tenant is not home to receive the recorded delivery and does not go to collect it, they are not aware of the change to their rent charge and can end up in arrears by paying the wrong amount. There is a further technical legal complication here regarding whether or not the increase notification has been served if the tenant does not collect the recorded delivery, and therefore a further letter would be required to be sent, at additional cost. Thirdly, recorded delivery is much more expensive that normal post (£1.50 extra per letter), which is wasteful of resources.
Pineview took legal advice from our various legal advisors and it was determined that until the Scottish Government resolve this matter, rent notifications should either be sent by recorded delivery or by hand delivery. Given the issues with recorded delivery, Pineview took the decision to use hand delivery. We delivered rent increase notification letters by hand delivery in 2023, will deliver by hand delivery in 2024 and will continue with this form of delivery for rent increase notification letters until the Scottish Government and/or Scottish Parliament resolve to allow standard post. We will continue to pursue the Scottish Government to have this matter resolved.
On 24/01/2024 we wrote to advise the Minister for Housing
“We are commencing the process of advising our tenants of the rent charges for 2024/25. As part of this we will provide information regarding why we are having to waste resources with hand delivery. We will advise that we have been liaising with the Scottish Government to try and have this resolved but to no avail. We will advise tenants that we will continue to pursue this matter and suggest that if they would like more detail meantime that they directly contact yourself and/or the SHR, who are tasked with protecting tenants interests.”
We received a response from the Minister for Housing on 05/02/2024, which you can download and read here. We will continue to pursue this and let our tenants know when there is any update.
If any tenant would like to raise the matter with either the Minister for Housing and/or the Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR), their contact e-mail details are as given below:
Mr Paul McLennan, Minister for Housing, Directorate for Local Government and Housing, Scottish Government, Email - email@example.com
Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) firstname.lastname@example.org; https://www.housingregulator.gov.scot/about-us/contact-us/
We will keep tenants updated on this matter as and when/if matters progress. In the meantime, if you would like more information, please contact Joyce at our office to discuss – 0141 944 3891, email@example.com.