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Communal utility charges
If you live in extra-care accommodation or hostels, you may be liable to pay service charges.
Depending on the type and location of the accommodation, you may have to pay for your heating, lighting, cooking and hot water with your rent. If the complex has a communal (shared) gas and electrical supply, this will be divided by all residents and the proportion added to your rent. You will not then receive a utility bill for that service charge payable to NFDC.
As a tenant you will be informed of any charges when you sign your agreement. Tenants should note that these utility charges must be paid directly to NFDC and there is no benefit entitlement towards covering these costs.
Communal charges and Council Tax
If you live in extra-care accommodation or hostels, you may also be charged for the upkeep and maintenance of communal areas, including corridors and surrounding grounds. In a limited number of properties, Council Tax is payable too.
As a tenant you will be informed of any charges when you sign your agreement. Unlike communal utility charges, whilst these communal charges must be paid directly to NFDC, you may be entitled to benefit or support towards meeting these costs.
Housing rent setting
The Council is responsible for setting the level of rent that it charges to its tenants.
The Council follows Central Government guidance regarding the approach to setting rents, such that Housing Associations and Councils would have similar levels of rent for similar properties. This is to eliminate discrepancies that have occurred across the country.
The actual level of the rents is determined by how much the Council needs to spend on services to its tenants.
Rent is paid into what is termed 'The Housing Revenue Account' and this, along with small amounts of Government subsidy, is what pays for the services that tenants receive. It also covers other items such as paying the cost of borrowing for the original build of that property and for capital improvements. The rent that Council tenants pay does not contribute to other services that the Council provides, nor is it subsidised by the Council Tax payments.
Each year the Council considers carefully how much money it will need to raise the following year from rents and subsidies in order to carry out its programme of repair and maintenance.