Tenant participation

Rent consultation 2020/2021

Take part in this year’s rent consultation 

This year, the rent consultation will run until 30 November, 2019. During the consultation period we will visit your local area and meet with you face to face to find out what you think. You can find out when we will be in your area in our timetable.

We will also be holding rent setting workshops with tenant forums and tenant groups across Highland where we will look at how your rent money is currently spent and make sure this truly reflects your priorities.

How can you have your say?

You can have your say by taking part in the consultation online or by speaking to a member of our housing staff when they visit the area you live in.

What happens next?

We will use the feedback received from tenants to prepare a report for Councillors to consider and agree the level of rent and service charges for council tenants for the year 2020/21.

We will write to you at least four weeks in advance to notify you of the new rent and service charges coming into effect for 2020/21.

Every Highland Council tenant pays rent, (even although some tenants are getting assistance to pay it through Housing Benefit or Universal Credit) so it is important to receive feedback from as many of you as possible. If you have any questions about the consultation please do get in touch us on 01349 886602 and ask for your Housing Officer or Tenant Participation Officer.

Rent increase proposal for 2020/21

There are a few challenges facing us in setting rent levels for next year. We no longer have income from Right to Buy sales, which have previously been used to reduce borrowing and loan charges. Staff costs are increasing as are building and construction costs, which all impact on the overall cost of the service.

We have additional income from rents from new council house building, but we also have increased costs for loan charges to fund improvements to existing homes and build new homes. At this stage we think we will need an average rent increase of around £1.80 per week to balance the books and maintain our existing service levels. 

Our proposals

The minimum rent increase required in order to continue with current levels of service, and deliver the agreed level of capital investment is 2.5 per cent. This would mean an average rent increase of £1.80 per week with standard rents per property as follows:

Flat  or maisonette

  • Bedsit £55.16
  • 1 bed £64.11
  • 2 bed £73.06
  • 3 bed £82.03
  • 4 bed £90.98
  • 5 bed £99.93

House or bungalow

  • Bedsit £59.93
  • 1 bed £68.89
  • 2 bed £73.06
  • 3 bed £86.80
  • 4 bed £95.75
  • 5 bed £104.70

A rent increase of 3 per cent would allow us to spend an extra £460,000 on planned maintenance and other estate improvements. This would mean an average rent increase of around £2.20 per week with standard rents per property as follows:

Flat  or maisonette

  • Bedsit  £55.42
  • 1 bed  £64.43
  • 2 bed  £73.42
  • 3 bed  £82.43
  • 4 bed  £91.42
  • 5 bed  £100.41

House or bungalow

  • Bedsit  £60.22
  • 1 bed  £69.23
  • 2 bed  £78.22
  • 3 bed  £87.22
  • 4 bed  £96.21
  • 5 bed  £105.31

A rent increase of 3.5 per cent would allow us to spend an extra £920,000 on planned maintenance and other estate improvements. That would mean an average rent increase of around £2.55 per week with standard rents for each property as follows:

Flat  or maisonette

  • Bedsit   £55.69
  • 1 bed   £64.74
  • 2 bed   £73.77
  • 3 bed   £82.83
  • 4 bed   £91.87
  • 5 bed   £100.90

House or bungalow

  • Bedsit   £60.52
  • 1 bed   £69.56
  • 2 bed   £78.60
  • 3 bed   £87.64
  • 4 bed  £96.68
  • 5 bed   £105.73

 If you live in a new build property you will currently pay up to £11.13 a week more than the rent figures quoted above, and any percentage rent increase would be slightly higher than the averages quoted. If you are in any doubt about the amount of rent you are paying, please contact us on 01349 886602.

In 2020-21 we plan to spend the following:

  1. Improvements to your homes. In 2020-21 we plan to invest £14.6m in our capital programme

This includes:

  • £1m on adaptations such as walk-in showers
  • £4.9m on upgrades/replacements which will include approximately 160 new bathrooms, 180 new kitchens and 375 new windows and doors
  • £5m on energy efficiency works including over 460 new heating systems and 50 properties being externally insulated
  • £1m on rewiring of properties
  • £2.3m on external fabric works such as harling or roofing repairs, including over 120 properties being re-roofed

Improvements to housing estates – We have set a budget in 2020/21 of £680,000 to improve housing estates (e.g. new fencing, works to garage areas), as we continue to receive feedback that tenants want further improvements to the environment around their homes. We would like your views on what you would like to see done.

Increasing rents as set out above would allow us to carry out more planned maintenance and other estate improvements such as painting of windows and doors, external painting, roof and gutter cleaning.

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