The deadline for responses to the government’s social housing rent consultation is 11.45 p.m. On October 12th. This will determine a maximum rent level for next April’s rent increase for 4 million council and housing association tenants in England. Face with the prospect of tenants having a double-digit rent increase the government has recognised that this is untenable. The consultation suggests three options, 3%, 5% and 7%, though the ‘preferred option’ of the government is 5%. We will be sending in a response calling for a rent freeze funded by the government, for reasons we have explained here.
The consultation document includes the proposal that councils should have the power to increase rent for voids (empty properties) above the maximum by CPI+%. Whilst we await September’s inflation figure CPI+1 is liable to be a double digit increase.
Allowing councils to do this would create anomalies in social rent homes and would drive up rents at a time when tenants are suffering ‘the cost of living crisis’, which is also a poverty wages and benefits crisis. That’s why it is important that we demand that rent for voids (for the next tenant who moves in) should be no higher than the increase that a landlord sets for their homes.