Local Liberal Democrats are warning of confusion for council tenants in Haringey, as tonight’s Full Council meeting changed the rent they pay for the second time in three months.
After much pressure, the Labour finally announced in March this year that they will cut this year’s 6% hike in rents by half. This change means some people have been paying too much for their rent so far this year, but rather than refunding the money immediately, the refund will be spread out in monthly payments. If someone moves during the year, they will miss out on getting all of their refund.
In other bad news, although the rent increase this year has been trimmed back, the planned rent figures for next year remain unchanged. As a result, residents will be facing an inflation-busting rise of 7.2% for next year.
Cllr Matt Davies, Liberal Democrat Housing spokesperson, comments:
“The reduced increase in rents will offer some relief to tenants, so it is welcome. But, even after this late and messy change, residents are still faced with an above-inflation increase – coupled with soaring service charges.
“Haringey Labour will try to take the credit for this. But people have to remember that their Labour Council and Labour government have, between them, conspired to create a confusing mess of this year’s housing rents, which are still increasing. And they are irresponsibly storing up problems for next year, with housing rents set to soar up to 7%.
“Not only will all tenants have yet another revised rent statement but Haringey Council will have to recalculate all benefit claimants’ entitlement if they live in a council property.”
Lynne Featherstone MP adds:
“Labour will dress this up to be a victory for tenants. It is not. Local council tenants have continued to experience annual hikes in rent and service charges as well as rocketing Council Tax levels without seeing a change to stories of the sub-standard accommodation that I hear in my surgery every week.”