Council house tenants in Moray are being consulted on proposed rent changes.
Moray Council continues to have the lowest average weekly rent of all local authorities in Scotland, at £62.04 in 2020-21 compared to the national average for local authorities and housing associations of £83.70 per week.
Tenants are being asked for their thoughts on three options: a 4.5% increase which would improve investment levels and speed up the delivery of the energy efficiency programme and stock improvement; a 3% increase which would maintain current funding levels for stock improvements; and a 1.5% increase which is below the rate of inflation and would limit the money available to improve housing stock.
An increase of 1.5% or 3% may mean larger rent increases in future years.
Housing rent funds improvements and updates to homes, making them safer, warmer and bringing them in line with legal requirements for safety and energy efficiency.
It also funds the replacement of heating and windows and upgrades to kitchens and bathrooms, which tenants say are among their highest priority upgrades.
A spokesperson for Moray Council said that finding a balance between affordability for tenants and the council remains a top priority.
“We’re fully aware of the challenges many of our tenants continue to face due to the pandemic, and are asking for your views which will inform the most appropriate rent-setting for the next financial year.
“Your feedback will help us set an appropriate rent for 2022-2023 and ensure that the council continues to offer best value to our tenants.
“The income from council house rents will continue to be reinvested in tenants’ homes, ensuring they’re modernised, safe and more energy efficient.”
All tenants will receive a letter asking for their views about the next rent increase and will be asked to complete an online survey or return the paper survey in the pre-paid envelope provided.
The consultation ends on 14 January 2022, after which the results will be discussed by councillors and a decision made.
If a rent increase is approved, we will write and tell tenants what their new rent charge will be at least four weeks before the increase takes effect.