Tenants to have their say on rent levels
Archived news: published on Friday 23 Nov 2018 by Fife Council
Convenor of the Community and Housing Services Committee Cllr Judy Hamilton
FIFE Council tenants will have their say on how much they pay in rent next year.
As part of the rent consultation, tenants will be asked to vote on three options throughout December and January. The council will take into account tenants’ views and a final decision will be agreed at the council’s budget meeting in February.
Convenor of the council's Community and Housing Services Committee Judy Hamilton welcomed the move that involves tenants being actively involved in making this important decision.
She commented: "This is tenants’ money and it is absolutely essential that they are consulted and have the opportunity to decide how much they pay.
“The rent that tenants pay goes into the council's Housing Revenue Account, which is used to improve the Kingdom's council homes and build new houses. We continually talk and listen to tenants, at meetings and events around Fife, to discuss priorities and how best to look after their housing.
"Our tenants told us that fuel poverty is a very serious issue for them and over the next three years, we will be investing £12.8 million in heating, windows and doors, to give our tenants warmer, drier, healthier homes.
"After we met with our tenant representatives, we recognised that rents do need to be increased in order to maintain standards and to complete these additions. We are suggesting options of 3%, 3.5 % or a 4% increase to cover costs going forward. And we are asking tenants to vote on these, or suggest alternatives.
"Over the summer, we have tested these options with some tenants at a series of Tenant Gatherings.
"Although these were less well-attended than we would have liked, those who did attend have preferred a 3.5% increase in rents, over a three year period.
"Of course, it is very important to hear all of our tenants’ views and a full consultation will be coming out with the ‘Down Your Street’ magazine that will be published shortly and delivered to every council tenant in Fife.
"I would ask tenants not to dismiss this, but to look through and fill in the response form. I really want to hear your views."
If you having difficulty paying your rent, there is a lot of help in place. Please get in touch as soon as possible as help and support is available. Check out www.fifedirect.org.uk/moneyadvice for more information.