In simpler times, the rent was just the rent. The breakdown of council rents in recent years, to include many itemised service charges, was never for our benefit as tenants. It was bound to bring grief to us one day.
Today, housing experts say that it is "uncertain" whether the universal credit, being phased in from October 2013, will cover tenant service charges, as current housing benefit does.
Draft regulations published in June 2012 look set to exclude 13 different types of service charge from benefit coverage. The impact on tenants would be severe, and for some, devastating.
At Partridge Way, London N22, we estimate that the changes would cut the disposable income of single unemployed tenants by one-third, from £64.87 to £42.97 per week.
That's on top of the Tories' other benefit changes - the council tax shortfall, the "bedroom tax" and so on.
Many councils and housing associations have been considering the withdrawal of some services, because tenants would be unable or unwilling to pay high service charges from their benefit income.
Ministers say that the new regulations, expected to be presented to Parliament in revised form this autumn, will NOT cut benefit entitlements in this way, and that "in general" benefit coverage for service charges will remain the same.
Until we see the final wording of the regulations, we will not know. But the draft already published is a typically nasty part of this government's war against tenants.
So housing campaigners need to be raising the matter with our councillors and shouting about it to our MPs until this latest plan to cut benefits is withdrawn. Together, we can win!