Following our Rent Consultation in January, and after careful consideration of our budget for 2019/20 the Board have decided to increase rents by 3%.
Due to our ongoing rent restructure this represents an overall increase in our rental income of 2.6%.
Being able to provide good quality housing for an affordable rent is very important to us.
We monitor the affordability of our rent based on an ‘affordable rent’ being deemed to be a rent which is less than 25% of a tenants “moderate income”, a less affordable rent is a rent at 25-30% of a tenants moderate income and a rent at 30%+ of moderate income is unaffordable and would therefore ‘fail’ our affordability test.
The rent you pay is very important as this is our main source of income, and this allows us to maintain, repair and improve our existing homes and build new ones. We also deliver housing services for our tenants and housing applicants, repay loans, pay staff and maintain our offices.
While most of our income comes from the rents we receive, we do recognise that for the majority of our tenants the rent you pay will be your biggest single household cost. For this reason we need to be confident the rents we are charging are set at a level that allows us to continue to provide viable services, while at the same time making sure that our tenants’ who are on a ‘moderate income’ can afford to keep paying their full rent.
Feedback from our rent consultation did highlight the same concerns that were highlighted to us last year, with our rent increasing by more than inflation while on average earnings continue to increase below inflation, and 1 in 5 of the tenants who responded to our consultation told us that they would prefer to have no further increase, or they would like to see a closer link between increases and improvements to their home.
When considering the options available to them the Board decided on an increase of 3%, taking account of the need for us be able to continue operating as an effective and improving social landlord, while still providing our tenants with affordable rents.
This year the majority of our rents will increase within a range of £2.00 - £3.00 per week and and a cap has been applied to make sure that no ones rent will increase by more than £5.00 per week.
We are aware that over the next year the Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) will continue to have a strong focus on Rent Affordability, and with this in mind we will be working with our Estate Management Group to review our affordability and look at how we are performing in this area compared to other social landlords in Fife and across Scotland.
This summer we will also be holding a tenant event in your local area when amongst other activities, everyone can have the opportunity to help inform our future rent reviews and find out more about how we plan our budgets so that we can invest money back into our properties through our planned maintenance programmes.