Housing rent changes get the go-ahead
Proposals to introduce rent increases and change the frequency of rent payments have been approved by our cabinet members.
When will the rent changes happen?
From April 4, 2022, tenants’ rents will increase by 4.1 per cent, the equivalent of £2.91 a week. This will place an average Housing Revenue Account (HRA) tenant’s weekly rent at £74.09.
Rent payments will also be collected weekly, as opposed to monthly to help tenants budget more efficiently.
This comes after we consulted with tenants and other stakeholders as work to carry out a £90 million pound improvement plan aimed at making tenants’ homes safer begins.
What are the changes?
Weekly garage rents and other service charges will be subject to the same percentage increase, of between 2p and 84p a week.
The rises in Extra Care Services including Intensive Housing Management will go up between 98p and £2.50 a week, and the Night Care Service by £1.19 a week.
Councillor Cathy Scott, Cabinet Member for Housing and Democracy, said:
“Tenant safety is our highest priority and we are determined to ensure all our tenants feel safe in their homes. That is why we are investing in making sure all our homes comply with new safety legislation in the aftermath of Grenfell Tower.
The money tenants pay in rent is ring-fenced, which means there are clear guidelines on how it can be spent. We’re confident the vital improvements already underway combined with further projects planned will vastly improve our housing stock. Whilst we also drive forward strategic investment in the council house building programme to meet the demand for social housing in Kirklees.
We hope this, as well as changing the way our tenants can pay their rent from monthly to weekly to help them budget more efficiently, will put us on the path to offering a high-quality and first-class housing service with tenant safety at the heart of all we do.”
The increases coincide with a change in housing compliance and safety legislation.
The changes have highlighted the need to make tenants’ homes safer, carry out high-rise repairs and regeneration, decarbonise the council’s housing stock and build new council homes.
£90 million has already been earmarked to make tenants’ homes safer across Kirklees, with a particular focus on:
- Meeting fire regulations
- Managing asbestos
- Water hygiene
- Electrical testing
- Gas and other safety-related services.
This comes after we commissioned an independent safety compliance review of our housing stock in Spring 2021. This led to 50 improvements being recommended. To date, 31 actions have been completed – 62 per cent – with all improvements set to completed by September 2023.