Three out of four council tenants reject five per cent rent rise
THREE out of four East Lothian Council tenants who took part in a consultation on rent increases rejected a five per cent rise – with nearly a third wanting it to stay the same.
The council planned the increase from this April in its long-term budget last year.
But when they took the option to tenants as part of a consultation at the end of the year, nearly 77 per cent of tenants who took part rejected the high rise.
Instead, 49 per cent gave their backing to an alternative option of three per cent, with 29 per cent calling for a zero per cent rise.
The findings of the consultation have been published by the council in its members’ library service and revealed that 1,566 responses came back – just over 17 per cent of all council tenants.
The report on the responses said: “The information attached to the questionnaire explained the cost pressures for the council e.g. rising interest rates for borrowing, increased cost of materials for modernisation and upgrades, and the costs of meeting increasing standards for climate change etc.
“The document highlighted that there had been no rent increase for the last two years due to the impact of the Covid pandemic and explained that a subsequent further rent freeze would impact the delivery of its current level of service and the capital investment programme.
“Tenants were given three options to consider – zero per cent, three per cent and five per cent – and explained what these options would mean in terms of the planned modernisation and new build programmes.”
The Scottish Government capped rent increases for private tenants at three per cent for the coming year last month.
COSLA, which represents local authorities in Scotland, has agreed that no council rents will go up by more than £5 a week.
East Lothian has one of the lowest rent levels in Scotland, charging £71.41 a week for a three-apartment home.
East Lothian Courier