Magazine article Public Finance

Councils Demand Rent Decision

Magazine article Public Finance

Councils Demand Rent Decision

Article excerpt

Local authorities are urging the government to state exactly how much longer they have to bring their rents in line with those charged by housing associations.

A consultation paper published in August by the Department for Communities and Local Government suggested that rent restructuring should be extended beyond the original date of 2012, but did not indicate by how much.

As consultations closed on October 4, it became clear that any extension will affect some councils more than others, depending on how close they are to achieving their so-called 'guideline' rent.

But according to the Local Government Association, all councils want certainty over a cut-off date. 'Rent restructuring cannot continue indefinitely,' said LGA policy consultant Ruth Lucas. 'We need certainty for local authorities and their tenants'

Problems started two years ago when ministers put off a review of restructuring until after the 2005 general election.

When the review was held last year, it imposed a 5% cap on rent rises - so delaying convergence between council and housing association rents. …

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