Rent consultation

Rent consultation Image

TENANTS renting a council house in Dundee could see an increase of around £2.41 a week if councillors back a consultation on the options.

Members of the neighbourhood services committee will be asked to approve discussions with tenants on annual increases ranging from 3% to 3.5% or between an average of £2.41 and £2.82 per week.

During a two-month consultation period tenants will be encouraged to express their views on three options before a report is prepared and considered in January.

Heather Anderson convener of the neighbourhood services committee said: “The three options in the report offer tenants a balanced choice between services remaining at the same high standard that they enjoy now or giving the council additional resources to spend more on energy efficiency measures and increasing the supply of social housing.

“The rent increases that were supported during the consultations in previous years have

helped us to continue to clear the backlog in repairs and maintenance caused by Covid, keep up levels of investment, and improve the energy efficiency of tenants’ homes which go far in tackling fuel poverty levels in the city.

“The choices tenants have previously made have helped with the building of new homes and assisted us with supporting people to maintain their tenancies.  We know tenants want us to clear the Covid-backlog in repairs and maintenance and that’s why we are proposing the minimum increases we need to continue this work.

“We are however acutely aware of the pressure the cost of living crisis is putting people under. That’s why we are proposing that our Hardship Fund be doubled to £1m.  This will hopefully ensure that all council tenants suffering financial hardship can seek the support they need to meet their rent next year.

“Consultation allows our tenants to fully engage with how the proposed increases are arrived at, and the delicate balance that has to be achieved between delivering statutory, services whilst also offering additional increases that will mean more investment in social housing.

“The consultation process asks tenants to choose which rent increase proposal they prefer from the three options for 2023/24. Each option outlines what tenants will get in return for their money and the wider benefits it would bring to the whole of Dundee.

“I would strongly encourage as many of our tenants as possible to take part and have their voices heard.”

The consultation will include a number of local community events, discussions with Registered Tenants Organisations and information on the council's website and in council offices.

There will also be targeted use of relevant social media and detailed guidance for tenants to help them understand what their rent pays for.

The neighbourhood services committee meets on Monday (October 31).

It should be noted that the Scottish Government has implemented a rent freeze on properties in the social and private rented sectors. At present, the rent freeze is scheduled to take place until 31 March 2023.

The rent consultation is being carried out based on the current situation. In the event that the rent freeze is extended beyond March 2023, the results of the consultation will not apply and an updated report will be taken to Committee on the implications arising from this.

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