Tenants face £20 monthly rent increase

TENANTS of council houses in Rotherham and Barnsley are facing a rent increase of more than £20 a month after April.

Both authorities' cabinets voted through hikes of more than eight per cent, after the Government introduced a new national formula for council rent.

Rotherham Council's tenants will face an average rise of 8.69 per cent, or 5.08 a week.

Council tenants in Barnsley will pay 8.1 per cent more - 4.82 a week.

Sheffield Council's cabinet is due to vote on Wednesday on a proposed average rise of 6.8 per cent - 3.97 a week.

The hikes are all above the national rate of inflation, based on the most recent UK consumer price index figure of 3.7 per cent.

Coun Jahangir Akhtar, Rotherham Council's housing spokesman, said councils had been left with little choice.

He said: "This year, budgets nationwide are under considerable pressure.

"Although our rents are still among the cheapest in the country, I deeply regret that the authority has been placed in the position of increasing rents to this level.

"Unfortunately, we are being forced to take this action by the Government."

Last year, rises were lower. In April 2010, Sheffield rents rose 3.6 per cent, Rotherham's rose 2.91 per cent and Barnsley's increased 2.8 per cent.

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