A South London council has hiked rents as locals face a huge cost of living crisis. Lambeth councillors agreed to increase rents by 4.1 per cent. More than 23,000 people living in borough properties will be hit by the increase from April 2022.
Residents living in a two-bed flat will see their rent jump by £4.44 per week from £108.33 to £112.75. Rents for one-bed flats will increase from £95.02 per week to £98.91. The rent for a three-bedroom apartments will surge from £125.98 a week to £131.15.
Over a third (35.3 per cent) of Lambeth Council tenants live in a two-bed home. Just over a quarter rent a one-bed (27.5 per cent) or a three-bed house (26.5 per cent).
The local authority is expected to rake in more than £138 million from the rent rise between 2022 and 2023, up from the £132 million it will earn in the 2012/22 financial year.
Lambeth, like other councils, was forced to reduce rents between 2016 and 2020 by the government.
Since 2020, councils have been able to increase rents by the rate of the Consumer Price Index, plus one percent each year.
The consumer price index measures the increase or decrease in the price of commonly bought items like food and train tickets. It is currently 3.1 per cent.
The tenants are being forced to deal with rising energy bills and can expect to pay more for groceries this year.
Lambeth chose to increase rents by 4.1 per cent – the maximum amount it could.
Speaking at a meeting on February 7, Cllr Maria Kay, cabinet member for housing and homelessness, said: “Obviously nobody wants to raise rents if they don’t have to.
“Our estate needs a lot of investment to get it to a standard that our residents need and deserve.
“We have enormous pressures in terms of what we need to deliver in terms of delivering our obligations under the buildings safety bill, currently going through parliament.
“Given that none of these activities will be funded through central government, we simply need to pass on the maximum rent rise that we are able to deliver.
“Rents are historically low. There were cuts by one per cent every year for four years between 2016 and 2020.
“If we were to freeze rents the cumulative impact could cost £164 million over the next 30 years.”