Birmingham Council raises amount of council house rent by 4.9%

Local councils sometimes have to make difficult decisions, and more often than not the outcome of these decisions prove unpopular with local residents, especially if they are going to lose out on money. Birmingham Council has recently had to announce that they are planning on increasing the rent on council tax properties by a substantial 4.9% in order to cover the costs of a £336 million debt handed to them by the government last year.

The debt was given to the council after changes in national rent subsidiaries meant that instead of the tenants of Birmingham paying sixty million pounds per year in tax to improve northern cities’ housing they now have the debt instead. Sixty-five thousands households face increasing rent prices, meaning that the average rent for a council home will now rise to £330 per months, whilst rent for garages will increase to £5.44 per week. Furthermore, the cost of housing services such as concierge and cleaning of apartment blocks will rise by one per cent when the changes go ahead this April.

Discussing the increase in prices, Birmingham Council’s deputy leader Councillor Ian Ward said: “I appreciate this is a difficult time for our tenants given the national and local economy but this is the first increase in rents for 18 months and the changes are necessary. I believe the rents charged to tenants continue to represent good value for money in comparison to charges by other registered housing providers and the private sector.”

“I have also been able to keep increases on service charges that are valued by tenants substantially below inflation – this is the first increase in these charges since October 2010. I will continue to work with tenants to increase the quality of services provided to the people of Birmingham.” Increase I rent prices is a concern for both social and private landlords, and many are taking time to talk to their residents to see how the changes will affect them, whilst private landlords are also ensuring that their income is protected with landlord insurance.

Other councils that have also recently increased their rent prices for council homes include Wolverhampton council which are implementing an increase of six per cent, Sandwell council with an increase of 9.6 per cent and Solihull council with 4.98 per cent.

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