Changes to council rent and service charges

Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet is set to approve changes to council rent and other housing charges at its fortnightly meeting on 14 February 2011.

From 3 October 2011, council tenants will pay an annualised rent average of £67.88 per week, in line with the national rent policy introduced by the former government in April 2002. 

There will be no increases in the charges for services such as concierge, caretaking and cleaning that are provided to tenants. 

Other charges for hostels and garages will only increase at or below inflation and there will also be no changes to the current landlord fees for licenses for multi-occupied properties. 

Cllr John Lines, Cabinet Member for Housing said:

“The former government forced us to increase rents for tenants above inflation over the past decade in order to meet national targets, but they didn’t allow the extra money to be spent providing services to local tenants.

“I am pleased that after many years of national lobbying, together with the support of tenants, that this unfair system will be replaced by the new government. The new changes will be introduced from April 2012 and the proposals for this October will be the final year of the former rent policy regime.

“There is also good news for tenants as I have been able to avoid any increases on service charges that are valued by tenants.

“I believe that the rents charged to tenants represent value for money in comparison to charges by other social housing providers and I’m committed to increasing the quality of services to the people of Birmingham.

 “I appreciate that this is a difficult time for our tenants given the national economy but the new government is determined to secure the national public finances for the future.”

“Council tenants will be provided with support to meet their rent payments and 2-week rent payment holidays during the Christmas and Easter holidays will continue.

 “I will ensure that the vast majority of tenants who qualify for housing benefit are helped to claim their full entitlement.”

Ends

Notes to editors
1. The City Council is required to review annually and approve the rents for council housing and charges for services such as caretaking, cleaning, concierges.

2. The national policy was intended to bring local authority rents and housing association rents in line with each other by 2011/12. However, consultation for the HRA Subsidy Determination for 2011/12 indicates that convergence is not expected to be achieved until 2016/17.

3. The average national rent increase of 6.8% for 2011/12 was determined using RPI at September 2010 (4.6%) + 0.5% + £2 per week, in line with the mandatory national rent convergence policy.

Further information from Belinder Kaur Lidher on 0121 303 6969

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