Council rents are agreed each year, following rules set by central government and taking into account factors such as average manual wages, council property values and the number of bedrooms in your home.
You should have received your annual rent notice at the beginning of March, letting you know what the weekly rent for your tenancy will be from April 2020 to March 2021.
This year’s 2.7 per cent increase represents an average rise of £2.07 per week.
It is the first time rent has increased since 2015, in line with policy set by central government.
Council rents are still, an average, £1 per week lower than in 2015. They’re also around 50 per cent less than equivalent rents in the private sector.
Councillor Gail Harris and Lee Robson, head of housing, presented and explained the increase to members of the tenant involvement panel at their meeting in January, before it was agreed at a meeting of full council in February.
The increase will help cover rises in inflation and ensure the council can continue to:
- maintain council homes and estates
- provide kitchen, bathroom and electrical upgrades
- build more council homes.
Average 2.7 per cent rent increase shown against properties size:
|Number of bedrooms||Weekly increase (average)||New rent charge (average)|
We will contact you directly about your rent and anything you need to do regarding your payments.
If you pay by Direct Debit, you don’t need to do anything, your payments will be updated automatically.
Universal Credit and Housing Benefit
If you receive Universal Credit, you will need to update your journal with the increase in rent or you won’t receive all the benefit you’re entitled to.
You will be sent an action called a “To-Do” via your Universal Account account [i.e. journal]. The To-do will betitled “Update your Housing Costs”. This will ask for responses to a number of questions to establish whether your rent charge has changed
All changes need to be made once they have happened (i.e. after the rent has changed in April).
If you receive Housing Benefit, you don’t need to anything.
Don’t forget, you can speak to an income officer or budget adviser at any time if you have concerns or questions about your rent.