Tenants face £20-a-month rent rise

COUNCIL house tenants in Rotherham were yesterday left facing a rent increase of more than £20 a month after councillors voted through an average rise of almost nine per cent.

Rotherham Council's ruling cabinet met yesterday morning to discuss increasing rents on houses, garages and to approve an increase in the price of the authority's district heating service.

Before the increase, tenants in the borough were paying an average of 58.64 a week over 48 weeks, which will go up to 63.61 a week when the rise is implemented in April.

Costs will be higher on 127 new-build council properties which are currently under construction, with weekly rents of 83.14 over 48 weeks.

Housing bosses said the increase in rent was necessary to meet Government requirements which stipulate that all local authorities set charges as laid out in a new national formula.

Coun Jahangir Akhtar, who is responsible for council housing said this year's increase was particularly high because Rotherham had "historically low rents" and was being forced to "catch up" with other councils nationwide.