Council tenant rent is set to go up by 2.7 per cent in Lewisham, according to proposals due to be reviewed next week (January 30).

The council’s final Housing Revenue Account (HRA) budget, which will be presented to the Housing Select Committee on Thursday, includes a rent hike for the first time in four years.   

The Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016 required local authority landlords to reduce rent by one per cent and cap it.  

This is the first year since that councils are allowed to increase rent, and Lewisham plans to raise it by the maximum of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate plus one per cent.  

“From April 2020 Government have lifted the rent reduction policy and have allowed councils with social housing stock to return to the previous method of rent increase calculations until 2025. 

“This method of rent increase is based on CPI + one per cent.  

“[The hike] results in an average increase in rent for 2020/21 of £2.56 per week over a 52-week period.  

“This will increase the full year average dwelling rent for the London borough of Lewisham HRA stock (as at April 2019) from £94.98 to £97.54 per week,” according to the report.  

Garage rents are proposed to rise by at 2.4 per cent, an increase of 38p per week and would raise the average basic charge from £15.30 per week to £15.68 per week. The increase will raise £43,000.  

For Brockley residents service charges for tenants are due to go up 31p per week to £11.37, while leaseholders will have to pay an extra 75p per week at £23.15. 

For Lewisham Homes residents, service charges for tenants and leaseholders are due to increase from £33.80 to £34.98 per week.  

A Lewisham Homes tenants’ panel did not support the increases, raising concerns that the hike was “unaffordable and unjustified and takes no account of affordability issues” … “especially in the light of continued restrictions in pay increases for low income and public sector employees” . 

Mayor and cabinet will consider the proposed increases and feedback from

tenants and Housing Select Committee as part of the overall council budget

setting report to be presented on 5th February 2020, according to the report.