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Rent review gets backing from tenants

Posted on 17 Aug 2017
A major review of council house rent levels – which aims to make the system fairer and more straightforward - has received overwhelming support from tenants taking part in consultation.

Earlier this summer, North Ayrshire Council announced the first major review of rent levels for a number of years, to look at the current charging system which is based loosely on size, type of property and the type of heating system installed.

This historic system has resulted in a significant number of discrepancies among rent levels.

Following consultation with tenants, the first stage of the review has now been completed, with support being expressed to simplify the system. Of those who responded to the consultation:

  • 95% agreed that a fair approach to setting rents is needed
  • 87% agreed that the proposal should be introduced over a two-year period
  • 88% agreed with the proposal to introduce the changes from 1 April 2018, and
  • 82% agreed with the proposal of using type and size of property to determine rent changes

A second stage of consultation will now get under way to ask tenants for their views on proposals for the new structure.

The current structure incorporates over 250 different rent levels. Some tenants living in smaller-sized properties currently pay a higher rental charge than tenants of a larger-sized property. There are also examples of neighbours with the same size of property paying different rent charges due to historic discrepancies between the former Irvine Development Corporation and Cunninghame District Council.

Tenants will be asked to choose between two potential future models for setting rent which will be based on property size and type.

Councillor Jim Montgomerie, Cabinet Member for Place, said: “Changing the rent structure will ensure no-one pays more or less than they should for the size and type of property they live in.

“We aim to have a system which will be simpler, fairer and easier to understand for all.

“Under both of the proposed models, the majority of our tenants would see a decrease in their rent levels and it’s important to recognise that no additional income will be generated from any of these proposals.

“Here in North Ayrshire, our rent levels are not only below the Scottish average, they are also considerably lower than our neighbouring registered social landlords.”

North Ayrshire Council tenants will receive a consultation document on the proposed rent models through their doors soon. All residents are encouraged to answer the questions and make their voices heard in the rent review.