Moray Council seeks feedback on rent setting policy
Moray Council is considering changing the way it sets council house rents and service charges and is asking residents to help shape the proposals.
A revised rent setting policy, approved by the Housing and Community Safety Committee on 21 November 2024, is open for public consultation.
Committee members noted the current rent setting policy was approved in 2005 and reviewed in 2013.
The current structure calculates rents using a points-based approach.
It considers specific elements relevant to each property, including property type, garden, bedrooms, National Home Energy Rating Value, standard of kitchen, location, and whether it is a council new build.
As a result there are currently 386 different rental levels – one for every 28 properties. The revised rent setting policy seeks to simplify this to 28 rent levels, based on tenant feedback.
Moray Council’s average rent levels are lower than all other Scottish local authorities and significantly lower than locally-operating Registered Social Landlords.
A rent affordability study shows rents are affordable across all measures. The study found scope to increase rents and not exceed affordability thresholds.
Chair of the council’s Housing and Community Safety Committee, Cllr Amber Dunbar, said: “The council is facing increased financial pressures across the board and we must ensure a sustainable service. A key aim of the rent setting policy review is to ensure we can continually strive to improve the quality of our stock and services, the range of housing options available, and levels of tenant involvement. We would be really grateful for as much feedback from tenants as possible to assist us in shaping these proposals.”
The consultation documents are available here on Moray Council’s website until Friday 5 January 2024.
Moray Council is contacting tenants and housing list applicants to inform them of the consultation and to ask for feedback via the survey. For a paper copy email email@example.com
An update report, detailing the outcome of the consultation and providing a revised policy for approval, will be presented to committee in February 2024.
Council tenants will be consulted on rent levels as part of the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) budget setting for 2024/25.
Their recommended option for the annual increase will be included within the HRA Annual Budget for 2024/25, due to be presented to the council in March 2024.