Rents hike plan is on the way

Victorian Houses in Colwyn Street, The Mounts.
Victorian Houses in Colwyn Street, The Mounts.

More than 10,000 tenants in the north of the county are facing a massive rent hike of up to eight per cent next month.

Local authorities have announced they are putting up council rent-rates at an increase above the current rate of inflation.

Corby Council has passed an average increase of 8.01 per cent, sparking fears that tenants might not be able to afford the new rates. There are 4,840 council homes in the Corby borough.

Kettering Council has passed a proposal to raise its tenants’ rents by 7.93 per cent at a rise of around £20 a week.

It will mean 3,809 tenants in Kettering will be paying an average of £71.97 per week.

There are no council houses in Wellingborough or Rushden but two of their biggest housing associations are planing increases.

Wellingborough Homes will raise its rents by 7.1 per cent and Spire Homes in Rushden plans a 6.1 per cent hike in April.

Councils and housing associations have said that they are following a formula set by government which dictates rent increases.

They claim any divergence from this policy would have financial implications.

But tenants have criticised the increases, saying they fear they will not be able to afford the new rates.

Tenant Paul Schonrock, 56, pays £73 a week to Kettering Council for his property in Linden Avenue, and has lived there for 20 years.

He said: “It’s a pretty steep increase, especially when pay rises are not happening and the cost of living is going up.

“It will put more of a burden on us. I’ve got nothing against the council but I think they should pay councillors less instead.”

Paul McCorack, 44, of Weekley Glebe Road, Kettering, said: “I could struggle paying this increase because it’s already hard paying off all my other bills.

“I think the council have put up rents because they have said council tax is staying the same – but it’s us tenants that lose out.”