In February, the Board will decide on the rent levels that will apply from next April. Before coming to a decision, it wants to tenants’ views on the proposed increase.
The Board is asking for feedback on whether or not a £2.30 a week increase for a typical two bedroom house is reasonable. For a typical one bedroom house, the figure is £2 and for a three bedroom house, £2.50. While the final amount may vary slightly depending on your actual current rent the increase will equate to 3% of your current rent. By way of comparison, South Ayrshire Council’s rents are set to increase next April by 5.2%.
The Board realises that many tenants are facing real financial pressures so it is aiming to keep any increase as low as practically possible. However, we have to set rents at a level that allows us to run our business effectively and ensure we can continue to meet the costs of providing services.
Last month, we sent all our tenants details of the recent tenant satisfaction survey. The survey results suggest that most tenants think that their rent payment represents real value for money in terms of the quality of their home and our day to day services. So in proposing the rent increase, the Board’s view is that it is important to maintain services to the current standard.
The rent also pays for the longer-term improvements to our houses. Expenditure on our maintenance and repairs programmes next year will amount to almost £1.7 million. Plans include kitchen upgrades and new heating in many of our older houses. This investment each year ensures that all our houses are maintained to the same high standard and will provide for a good quality home for existing and prospective tenants for many years to come.
The Board has also invested in additional money advice and tenancy services which has proved to be of significant benefit to many of our tenants.
Ayrshire Housing also continues to build new houses. We have though, scaled back our ambitions so as not to put any additional pressure on the rents that are charged.
We welcome our tenants’ comments on the proposed rent increase. Please get in touch by the middle of February. You can speak to your Housing Officer, or write or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.