Stevenage rent rises for council tenants backed by executive

Stevenage Borough Council have moved to increase rent rates

Stevenage Borough Council have moved to increase rent rates - Credit: Archant

Proposed rent rises for tenants have been backed by a council’s executive.

Stevenage Borough Council’s executive met on Tuesday and agreed the recommendations put forward to increase rental costs for council tenants.

The proposal recommends that rent for council tenants should go up by 5.61% from April 7 this year.

This would mean, on average, tenants would pay £5.23 more per week – approximately £270 extra a year – though more than 700 tenants will pay in excess of £6 extra a week.

Sharon Taylor, leader of the council, said: “Nobody wants to put rents up but we have a number of issues that mean if we don’t then there will be a knock-on impact. Because we’ve sold so many homes under the Government’s Right to Buy initiative, 60 more than we had planned, we have lost the rents on all of those properties. We can’t afford to build one-for-one because we don’t get enough money in from the sale of those houses to build new ones.

“We want to carry on building new homes and we wouldn’t be able to do that if we froze the rents. We also need to consider how best we can provide maintenance and other services to these council homes.”

The proposals will be discussed by full council on Tuesday when a decision will be made.