Licence fee changes: FAQs

Q. Why are you increasing the licence fees?

We have recently reviewed licence fees at all of the properties we manage and where need be, have brought them in line with the current guardianship property market. Typically, our licence fees are one-third lower than what you’d pay in the private sector. The property market has changed considerably in the past few years and yet our licence fees have, in the main, stayed the same. An increase in the cost of utilities and Council Tax has also contributed to new licence fees (this may not be relevant to all guardians).

Dot Dot Dot is a social enterprise and we have to run our business sustainably to continue to house and help as many people as we can – increasing licence fees enables us to do that.

Q. How long do I have to decide what I want to do?

We have given guardians over ten weeks’ notice before the licence fees change.

If you would like to stay in your current property at the new licence fee, you will need to sign a new licence agreement.

If you decide not to stay, you will need to give the required 28 days’ notice to Dot Dot Dot and have until the date indicated in the email sent to you to do so.

If we do not receive notice from you, your licence fee will be adjusted from a set date. If your fee payment fails on this date, Dot Dot Dot will issue you notice to vacate the property.

Q. I can’t afford the new licence fee, what can I do?

There are a couple of options available to you. One is that we can try to move you to a property with a lower licence fee. We will do our best to accommodate you, but other housing options with us cannot be guaranteed. If you’re not able to afford the new licence fee and we don’t have other housing options available, you will need to give us notice and move out of the property.

You could also consider sharing with a friend or a partner. However, they would need to apply to be a guardian by first taking our eligibility quiz online. If successful at the application stage, they would need to visit the property to ensure that it is suitable. If this is an option you’d like to take, we’d advise that you act quickly and get your friend or partner to apply.

Q. Are you allowed to increase the licence fee with ten weeks’ notice?

When you signed your licence agreement, you agreed to clause 1.1 which states that Dot Dot Dot is able to change the licence fee with four weeks’ notice. Giving you over ten weeks enables you to take some time to consider your options, and find alternative accommodation if you need to.

Q. What happens if I don’t make a decision before the deadline?

If you don’t sign a new licence agreement, or give us notice to move out within the appropriate time frame, you will be issued with a Notice to Quit from Dot Dot Dot.

Q. Can I get my friend/partner to move in and share the cost?

If you want to share the property with a friend or partner, this is possible. However, they would need to apply to be a guardian by first taking our eligibility quiz online. If successful at the application stage, they would need to visit the property to ensure that it is suitable. If this is an option you’d like to take, we’d advise that you act quickly and get your friend or partner to apply online. Please also let your relationship coordinator know that this is an option you are considering.

Q. Does my security deposit stay the same?

We hold a security payment equal to five weeks of licence fees. If your deposit increases, we will issue a ‘top up’ payment request via invoice. If there is a decrease in your deposit, this will be refunded.

Q. Will you increase the licence fees again in six, or twelve months?

Dot Dot Dot will undertake a review of our licence fees every twelve months. This includes Council Tax and utilities, where they are included in the monthly licence fee. In such instances, any increases in Council Tax and utilities will be passed onto our guardians.

Q. Why are you charging us as much as normal rent?

We look at prices in the private rental market and remove at least one-third of the cost to bring monthly payments down to guardianship levels. Often, our licence fee includes Council Tax, and in some cases, utilities too. Our licence fees are not the same as what you’d pay in the private rental market.

Q. I’ve made financial commitments in other areas of my life and I can’t afford these new fees as well. I’ll have to change my plans.

Property guardianship is a temporary arrangement and all guardians agree to a flexible rolling contract in which 28 days’ notice can be given at any time. This is why we ask all guardians to prepare a thorough move-on plan – so we know that if guardians move out of the property, they will still be able to support themselves and continue with any plans they have made.

This information was updated on 9th March 2022.