Calling all Angus Council tenants!
The consultation on the rent increase for 2023/24 only runs until Friday, 4 November 2022, so you’ve still got time to register your vote.
To vote, click on the survey link and choose one of the three options.
We have noticed that some applicants cannot report a change of circumstances in their housing application and our contractor is working to fix this issue.
We will update you when the problem is fixed.
Thank you for your continued patience.
If you have an urgent enquiry about your application, please contact our AngusHomefinder team at AngusHomefinder@angus.gov.uk or call our ACCESSLine at 03452 777 778.
Our Angus Homefinder contractor contacted us this morning to apologise for any inconvenience caused by the latest update to the system.
They have advised us that all reported issues have now been resolved. If you have a live application and are still unable to get on to the system to bid for properties, please contact our Angus Homefinder team at AngusHomefinder@angus.gov.uk or call our ACCESSLine at 03452 777 778.
Our teams would also like to extend our thanks for your patience during this time.
Are you an Angus Council tenant? If so, we need your views on the proposed rent increase for 2023/24 and options on how your rent money will be spent.
All three options would keep your rent amongst the lowest in Scotland.
If you are having difficulty paying your rent because of the cost of living crisis please contact your arrears officer as soon as possible by phoning ACCESSLine on 03452 777 778.
What about the Rent Freeze?
We know that the Scottish Government has implemented a rent freeze on properties in the social and private rented sectors. At present, the rent freeze is only scheduled to last until March 2023, although it could be extended. We are doing this consultation based on the current situation, but if the rent freeze is extended past March 2023, the results of this consultation will not apply. If that happens, we will put more information on this blog.
Why are we proposing to increase the rent?
We need to make sure the money we take in from rent is enough to pay for existing services, including repairs, but also to pay for larger improvements needed for tenants’ homes and to help build new homes.
Rent increases allow us to invest in tenants’ homes to continue to meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard and the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing.
The rent rise is partly based on the inflation measure of CPI (Consumer Price Index), and, in recent years we agreed an additional set percentage with the Tenant Rent Setting Group. However, this year CPI in July was 10.1%. Due to the current cost of living crisis, we have looked at alternative options this year, as we think a rent increase of 11.1% would be unaffordable for tenants.
We believe freezing rents would not provide enough income to pay for existing services and repairs. It would result in services being reduced, and we would also not be able to make improvements to existing stock, for example energy efficiency improvements. A rent freeze would likely result in higher rent increases in future to cover the shortfall.
The current 5 year Business Plan is based on an additional set percentage of 1%. The Business Plan has set out that 70 new homes will be built each year, as well as the following improvements to existing stock: 450 gas and electric heating installations, 600 properties receiving external wall insulation and energy efficiency measures, and 700 replacement bathrooms.
How we decide on the Increase
We’re carrying out a consultation to help tenants consider the rent increase options and clearly see how the rent money will be spent.
The results of this survey will be presented at the Communities Committee in February 2023, where the final decision on a rent increase for 2023/24 will be made.
Rent Increase – the options
The Tenant Rent Setting Group has agreed three options which the members feel will bring benefits to tenants while keeping rents affordable.
Please choose your preferred rent rise option. The three options are:
The above options, which have been put together with input from the Tenant Rent Setting Group, are all below current levels of inflation, and would leave a shortfall over the period of the Capital Plan to 2024/25. This means that we will need to borrow more to continue to deliver existing services, and potentially reduce the Capital expenditure, for example fewer energy efficiency improvements to homes. Additional borrowing to cover this shortfall would reduce the amount of money we can borrow longer term across the next 30 years. This may mean that there would have to be higher rent rises in future years to cover the shortfall.
The graph below shows our average weekly rents over the past six years compared to other neighbouring local authorities (figures from the Scottish Housing Regulator).
We have been notified of some customers not receiving an email after requesting new passwords for their housing application on Angus Homefinder. We asked our contractor to investigate there may be an issue for customers with Yahoo email addresses. There can be a significant delay in receiving these emails.
Our contractor will investigate further and are hopeful they will fix the issue soon.
If you’ve requested a new password, please continue to check your inbox and junk mail if you haven’t received it.
If you require access to your account to bid on properties and cannot, please contact us at AngusHomefinder@angus.gov.uk or contact ACCESSLine at 03452 777 778.
Thank you for your patience.
We are aware of a major problem with the Angus Homefinder Choice Based Lettings system. If you are trying to log in to bid on properties, you will get the message – “Not a valid user.” Please be patient, our contractor is aware of the issue and is working on it urgently. We will provide updates as soon as we have them.
Are you are risk of homelessness due to rent arrears or other housing-related debt? We might be able to help.
The Tenant Hardship Fund can pay towards rent arrears due to the Coronavirus pandemic between 23 March 2020 and 9 August 2021. Arrears before 23 March 2020 cannot be covered. Arrears after 9 August 2021 may be considered in exceptional circumstances, where we are satisfied that arrears are due to the continued impact of the pandemic restrictions.
The Homelessness Prevention Fund is to help pay towards rent arrears where there is a risk of homelessness due to housing-related debt. Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis with the main focus being on supporting those at greatest risk of homelessness. Tenants must demonstrate that they have not intentionally withheld rent payments.
Payments towards other housing-related debt will be considered where it would prevent homelessness and there is no other help available.
If you are a tenant
It is important you include all the information requested on the form, the fund is limited and delays in providing information could mean it has been fully committed before your application is considered.
You will need to explain what has affected your ability to pay your rent and provide evidence of this. This could be due to Covid-19, the cost-of-living crisis or something else and evidence, can include correspondence from your employer or other agencies supporting you, payslips, or bank statements.
We may contact your landlord for further information. The application will be considered by our officers, and we will notify you and your landlord of the outcome. Any grant awarded will be paid directly to your landlord.
If you are a landlord
Private Sector landlords must be registered and all landlords must demonstrate that they are complying with the pre-action requirements for rent arrears. They must be willing to enter into a repayment plan and agree not to progress a repossession on the basis of related rent arrears where a grant is paid, and the tenant meets all future agreed rent and repayment obligations.
For more information, scan the code below or click here