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Council house rents to rise by three per cent

By Gregor White

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Council house rents are set to rise.
Council house rents are set to rise.

Highland councillors have approved a three per cent rise in council house rents for the coming year.

The increase will result in a rise in the average weekly council house rent from £75.38 to £77.74.

The rise was approved by members at a full meeting of Highland Council today.

A report prepared for the meeting said that the higher rent level would generate sufficient income to fund expenditure relating to housing management, repairs and loan charges.

The council said a rise in the repairs and maintenance budget – to £1.78 million – includes an additional £1 million to comply with new standards for domestic fire detection arising from changes introduced by the Scottish Government as part of the national response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Housing and property committee chairman Councillor Ben Thompson, said: "The council has a legal requirement to balance its Housing Revenue Account income and expenditure at the end of the financial year.

"To that end, members have today accepted the proposal for a small increase to housing rent and service charges for the coming year 2020/21.”

He added: “The council continues to identify annual efficiency savings aimed at reducing management and maintenance costs without compromising best value for tenants.

"This small rise in rents will help to support an improving housing service for tenants."

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