Rent Increase. Have your say!*

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).


If I’m struggling financially, what can I do?
We have lots of information to help people get through the current difficult period here.
 
To have your say on the rent options,
please complete the survey online by 4 November 2022*.

*Please note this consultation is open to current Angus Council tenants only

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