Utility bills and service charges
Your future cost of living in a new Homes for Lambeth home will depend on all kinds of factors. However, as your new homes will be built to higher modern insulation standards, for example, your energy usage for heating will be much lower. Heating bills are expected to be less than what you pay now or what you would be paying in the future were you to remain in your current home.
When designing new homes, Homes for Lambeth will aim to keep future maintenance needs to a minimum. This will reduce service charges. Homeowners would not be expected to pay for any Section 20 costs (for major works) for a number of years, as they will be living in brand-new homes.
All new homes will have electricity, heat and water meters installed to comply with building regulations. They will also be fitted with low usage taps, showers and toilets, meaning that water usage is likely to be reduced.
As your home will be newly built, its value is likely to be higher than that of your current home. Council Tax is based on an assessment of the value of the property in 1991 undertaken by the Valuation Office Agency. The 1991 valuation will be significantly less than the current value; however there is still a possibility that your new home could be in a higher council tax band than your existing home and you would be charged a higher rate of council tax.
Homes for Lambeth rents for assured tenancies will be set in the same way as council rents. It will follow the same Government formula that is used for council homes. This formula takes account of the value of a home based on quality and location. This would likely make rents higher than for the equivalent home on an estate now. Rents in the new-build homes could be 10% to 25% higher than your current rent, depending on size and which estate they are on.
To deal with this, the council has agreed to phase in rent increases over 5 years. In addition, tenants who no longer need a home of the size and type they currently live in could downsize to a cheaper, smaller home on the new estate. Tenants can also choose to move to a council home in the borough, if there is something available that is the right size.
Taking into account that some costs will go up and some will go down, the council expects that overall residents will see very little change in their living costs.
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