Rent Setting Policy

Following the introduction of  legislation in 1992, the Association is no longer able to set its rents by the same method for all its tenants. The Association sets rents in three different ways, depending on circumstances.

1.0 Dwellings let before 16th September 1992

These rents are set by the Department for Communities for Housing Associations and the Housing Executive and are calculated on a points system based on the type of dwelling. Rural Housing Association does not own any of these dwellings

2.0 Dwellings in schemes which are being built partly with government

Grants and partly with loans raised by the association

These are termed “mixed funded” schemes and the Association sets its own rents for these dwellings. As it has to cover extra costs the rents may be higher than those charged under the points scheme.

The rent is calculated to cover the following elements. –

  • Loan repayment
  • Management costs
  • Routine maintenance costs
  • Major repairs costs
  • Allowance for voids

The Association seeks to set affordable rents and so keep them within the reach of those with low incomes. Rents can only be increased once in any 12 month period.

In deciding how much should be paid for one house when compared with another, the Association considers the cost, size and amenities of each property.

3.0 Dwellings being re-let after 16th September 1992 which were not mixed funded

The Association sets its own rent levels for these dwellings.

It seeks, as far as possible, to maintain parity with rent levels under the rent points scheme. The Association increases all its rents in April each year and endeavour’s to keep the percentage increase levels in line with [1] above.

Principle and Aims

Rents will be set at a level which ensures that all budgeted costs of the Association

Are covered. This level will take account of expenditure on:

  • Management of housing stock
  • Maintenance of housing stock (reactive and cyclical)
  • Voids and Bad Debts.
  • Loan Charges and repayments 14
  • Provision for contingencies
  • Provision for future major repairs


The Association will seek to ensure that rent levels are affordable to the Association’s client groups, whether they are in receipt of state benefit or in low paid employment.

Rent setting system The total weekly rental cost of the particular scheme, or pooled schemes, will be allocated on a pro rata basis , based on cost, size and amenities of each property.

Review Rent levels will be reviewed regularly and any increases effected on the first Monday of April. At least 28 days’ notice of any increase in rent, or other charges, will be given by the Association to tenants. (apart for rates which are subject to increase by LPS)

Service Charges

Where services (grounds maintenance etc.) are provided by the Association the charge for these services will be based on the estimated cost of provision. It is the policy of the Association that costs of providing services are recovered only from those tenants who enjoy the benefit of the services i.e. on an estate or scheme specific basis.

Service charges will be reviewed annually with any increases being effected at 1st April. At least 28 days’ notice of any increase in service charges will be given by the Association to tenants. Increases in service charges will not be linked to rent increases but will reflect increases in the costs of providing the services concerned and the cost of reasonable provision for maintenance/replacement of capital items.

Rent Pooling

As at 1 July 2018, If the calculated rent for a new scheme or property in respect of its size is above the expected Local Housing Allowance for that Area, the rent charged will be capped at 90% of the Local Housing Allowance (subject to annual increases) as published by the NIHE.

In order to ensure viability of any new scheme or property, any calculated rents capped to this limit will be offset by a corresponding pooling of rent on another scheme or property to be developed within that financial year.

The Association will set an upper limit of 120% of Local Housing Allowance for any calculated rent. Any Existing Satisfactory Purchases showing a calculated rent above this will be rejected at feasibility stage. New development or sites will be dealt with individually through their business case and economic appraisal