Skip to main content

Council Housing: Rents

Volume 482: debated on Tuesday 11 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for what reason she proposes that local authority rents should rise to levels set by registered social landlords; and if she will make it her policy to return to pooled historic cost averaging as a basis for rent fixing. (234342)

Rent restructuring has been in place since 2002. Prior to its introduction there was no standard method of setting rents in England, leading to very different rents being charged between neighbouring local authorities and between local authorities and housing associations in the same local area, with no clear justification.

Although we are encouraging social landlords to adopt the reforms, individual housing associations and local authorities remain responsible for rent setting. They can set whatever rents they consider reasonable in discussion with their tenants.

Rent restructuring is intended to make rent setting fair and transparent, it aims to keep rents affordable, well below those in the private sector, and at similar levels for similar properties.

Rents and rent-setting policy is one of the items being looked at as part of our Review of Council Housing Finance. We do not intend to revisit rent policy before this review is complete.