Pay to stay is a Government policy where social landlords can charge tenants with an income of over £30,000 (£40,000 in Greater London) market or near market rents. Market rents are the average rent for all similar properties in the area, not just discounted housing association and Council rents. Housing associations have discretion over whether or not to implement higher rents for tenants with these income levels.
We are not yet able to make a firm decision on whether or not we will implement the new initiative as Government has not yet released the regulations which will detail exactly how this will work.
Until the draft regulations are released, we do not yet know which elements of the scheme may be discretionary – for example will we have the ability to vary the income levels and what arrangements will there be for us to access customer income information?
We would not rule out implementation, as we invest our income into our existing homes, but also rely on our rental income to build more desperately needed affordable homes. In reaching our decision, we will consider the cost to us to implement the scheme, the possible additional income, the affordability of our properties and the potential impact on our customers.
Please be assured if we do decide to implement Pay to Stay we will provide customers who are potentially affected with as much notice as we are able to, which will be much more than a month.
What we do know is that the scheme cannot start until April 2017 at the earliest, so there is no need to be concerned of an imminent notification letter. It may be that the regulations themselves stipulate the minimum notice period. You can find more information on Pay to Stay on the Parliament website at http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/SN06804