Tenants could be hit by big rise in rent

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EASTBOURNE council house tenants could face a 10 per cent hike in rent.

More than two-thirds of tenants will see rent rise between six and 10 per cent from April, with the average council tenant paying £68.19. Tenants will also be hit by a blanket 5.1 per cent increase in heating costs and those in flats or sheltered accommodation will pay an extra 5.1 per cent in service charges come April.

Eastbourne Borough Council said the rent rise has been put in place to meet government targets at a cabinet meeting last week.

Cabinet member for direct assistance services, councillor Margaret Bannister said, “This is not something we take lightly and we don’t want to put the rents of council tenants up. It’s not something we enjoy doing.

“Government has set this formula for the last seven years, bringing council rent up in line with the private sector.”

Service charges – such as cleaning of communal areas – and heating costs are increasing in line with inflation.

Senior head of community Ian Fitzpatrick said garage rents would stay the same as it would be ‘counter-productive’ to increase since the council still has a number of garages yet to be let.

Cabinet approved the price increases and full council is expected to rubber-stamp them.