SLOUGH council tenants could be faced with a 1.5 per cent rise in the rent they pay from April 5.

At a neighbourhoods and community services scrutiny meeting on January 6 (Wednesday), councillors were asked to note the proposed increase, which would see the estimated average weekly rent for 2020/21 go from £103.78 to £105.41.

This is to keep charges in line with current Government guidelines and legislation.

Garage rents, heating, utility, and ancillary charges, as well as service charges, could be raised by 0.5 per cent from April.

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Properties leased from James Elliman Homes and tenants who rent homes from DISH are recommended to be increased by 1.5 per cent as well.

Councillor Satpal S. Parmar (Labour: Cippneham Meadows) criticised the Government for increasing rents during the midst of the global pandemic.

He said: “The Government for the past three or four years cut one per cent of the rent – but this year, where we are in this situation of people out of work, under hardship, they [the Government] are agreeing now CPI [consumer price index] plus one percent.

“This is not the time to increase. This a time to freeze.”

Slough Borough Council also intends to launch a review of service charging to tenants this year – which would require public consultation.

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According to officers, this review will lead to more transparency on information to tenants about how their service charges have been calculated and the costs used to reach such charges.

The council also seeks feedback on improving their service delivery monitoring by their contractors and third party suppliers.

No decision on the rent and service charges increase has been made yet as it will have to go to cabinet and later full council on January 26 for approval.