When we review our rents and service charges each year, the Welsh Government says that we must make sure they are affordable for current and future customers, and that we set service charges which are reasonable, affordable and offer value for money.

We have transformed the way we work with customers who live in our homes through the delivery of our bespoke neighbourhood coaching and support offer.  We aim to build relationships and trust with our customers instead of only interacting with them when there’s an issue. This allows customers to approach us before they reach a crisis point and enables us to work with them on all areas affecting tenancy sustainability including health, support, finance, education and much more.

House key in the lock

What does my rent cover?

Rent is payable on your property for the cost of providing, managing, maintaining and improving your home. The money we raise through rent collection goes back into providing services and maintaining our homes. Your rent helps to pay for the following services:

  • Repairs, maintenance and buildings insurance of homes
  • Improving homes to make sure they reach government standards
  • Providing essential services in the community
  • Funding the neighbourhood housing, income and support services that benefit our customers including helping with neighbourhood issues and collecting rent
  • Building new affordable housing for rent and sale

How we spent your rent in 2023

  • We built 83 more affordable homes for customers to rent and buy
  • We are currently developing over 200 new homes, and will be handing over 149 homes to new customers in 2023/2024
  • We have completed 500 stock condition surveys to increase our data held about our homes and aid our future decarbonisation strategy

We are pleased to have been able to continue with our repairs services and our planned programme to continue to meet the Welsh Housing Quality Standards (WHQS) and to ensure all our homes are compliant with Renting Homes (Wales) requirements.

  • 19500+ repairs carried out
  • 831 Electrical safety checks
  • 4630 Gas safety checks
  • 502 Homes had new windows and doors
  • 127 Homes had new roofs and/or rooflines
  • 62 Homes had new kitchens
  • 64 Homes had new boilers and heating systems
  • 28 Homes had new bathrooms

In 2023 our Housing and Support teams helped customers to collect:

  • £61,754.51 in Discretionary Housing Payments and rent rescue payments
  • £41,197.34 in backdated Housing Benefit, alternative payment arrangements and emergency Discretionary Assistance Fund payments
  • £157,881.18 through the work of our Money Advisor securing payments, grants, contributions and debt write offs.
  • £31,110.89 on assisting customers with food, fuel, food and other essential items including assistance with rent arrears.

What does my service charge cover?

Service charges are paid for the specific services you receive from us and usually relate to the shared areas in and around your home. Services provided to your home can differ depending on the type of property you live in or the area surrounding you.

The charges for each service are based on the actual cost of providing that service the previous year. Most service charges are eligible for housing benefit and universal credit.

Here is a summary of some of the service charges:

  • Communal cleaning – Our team at Hafod work hard to ensure we deliver a quality cleaning service. We carefully monitor the quality of work and monitor customer feedback to ensure the highest standard of hygiene in our properties.
  • Fire equipment – We take our duty of care to our customers very seriously and all our properties are risk assessed, with suitable fire safety equipment being installed where appropriate, and making sure that it is regularly checked tested and maintained.
  • Communal electricity – Lighting is also important to keep you safe in and around your home. This charge covers the cost of electricity for streetlights in non-adopted estates and/or providing electricity for lighting in communal areas where you live.
  • Communal heating/hot water – You need your home and communal areas to be warm with access to hot water where appropriate. This charge is for the heating and/or hot water in the communal areas where you live.
  • Grounds maintenance – We recognise the need to ensure the land we own surrounding our properties is kept in good condition to make areas attractive and to contribute to your well-being. This includes the cost of cutting grass and maintaining the outdoor communal areas where you live.
  • Communal TV aerial – This pays for the cost of providing and maintaining a shared TV aerial on your estate, scheme or block of flats.
  • CCTV maintenance – It’s important to us that our customers feel safe in their homes, we provide and maintain CCTV equipment in the communal areas where you live to help with this.
  • Lift maintenance – Some of our properties have lifts for our customers’ safety and convenience. It’s important that these are serviced and maintained to keep them safe for use.
  • Water rates – This covers the cost of providing a water supply to your individual flat.
  • Skip Hire/Bulky Waste - We work hard to keep the areas surrounding your property attractive and in good condition, so we try to remove bulky waste as soon as possible, this charge covers the cost to remove large pieces of furniture and other oversized pieces of rubbish that have been left in the area. We charge this to individual customers when appropriate and wherever possible.
  • Admin fee – This contribution helps support our team at Hafod, ensuring we have the resources in place to be the ideal landlord for you; dealing with your questions and concerns quickly and making sure problems are dealt with promptly.
  • External Management Company – sometimes, to deliver best value, we pay an external management company to provide some of these services on our behalf.

This list is not exhaustive.


For the last two years, the challenges in the economy have led to increased costs. Hafod can buy in bulk to make sure the cost increases are as low as possible and we make every effort to keep the prices as low as we can. However, due to the very high levels of inflation recently there will be an impact on service charge costs, especially the cost of gas and electricity.

Although Hafod can get the best energy prices possible by buying in bulk, we cannot benefit from the price caps offered by the UK Government Energy Bills Support Scheme. This is because these caps are for domestic supply only. Instead, Hafod receives support from the Energy Bill Relief Scheme for businesses. This scheme reduces the unit costs of gas and electricity.

The amounts charged in your new service charges are based on what we actually paid in 2023. Although these charges weren’t as high as originally feared, they were significantly higher than we have seen in previous years. This means that you are likely to see an increase in utility costs in your service charges this year.

To reduce the impact on your service charges, we are continuing to work hard to reduce energy use in our properties:

  • We are working with our contractors to find simple ways of using less energy, like adjusting heating controls and installing efficient LED lighting, and using automatic sensors on communal lights
  • We are investing, where we can, in technologies like solar to help reduce energy use

You can also help to reduce these costs, here are some ideas how:

  • Switch off lights that aren’t in use
  • Close doors to ensure heat stays within the building
  • Report faults to us promptly

Why is my rent and service charge increasing?

Rents are reviewed annually with new rents being communicated to customers by the end of January each year for introduction from April each year. Government guidelines tell us how to review your rent.

Your service charges are also reviewed. Changes to service charges are related to the actual cost of delivering the services in the previous year.

This year, we need to cover increasing costs as well as continuing to make rents as affordable as possible. Despite the increase in costs, we have made sure that the rent increases are in line with inflation.

Findings from the latest STAR (Survey of Tenants and Residents Survey) in December 2023 illustrated that of 428 respondents, 81% felt satisfied that their rent provided value for money. This is an increase of 10% from our previous results in 2021.

Are you providing any support to assist customers with the impact of the rising cost of living?

Hafod are available to support customers with the cost of living. In 2023 we have assisted customers with the purchase of fuel, energy, food and essential items including clothing and household goods via our “here for you” campaign, which will continue to run in 2024.  

In addition to this we put a programme of support in place for customers which included:

  • “Back to School” campaign in August/September where we assisted customers with the purchase of uniform and other school essentials. 
  • Christmas kindness campaign where we offered over £8,000 worth of support for customers with food and gifts.  We also distributed over 400 toys to customers who were struggling, following a very generous donation from Hasbro.
  • Support in accessing foodbank, fuel bank and household good initiatives.
  • Issuing food hampers and winter warm items such as hot water bottles and blankets to households requiring support.
  • Income maximisation work securing grants, funding and benefit payments for customers.
  • Publishing a cost-of-living special edition of our monthly e-newsletter, as well as offering financial well-being support via our Money Advisor and publishing articles providing advice and guidance around income maximisation.
  • Ensuring that the cost-of-living page on our website is fit for purpose and has the latest information in terms of the support you can access. 

A continued priority for 2024 is to continue the focus upon financial inclusion and wellbeing, working with our customers and partners to find positive solutions. We are here for you, so should you require support with cost of living or your finances in general then please contact us.