Tenants facing a rise in rent
Social housing tenants in Bath and north east Somerset will see their rents increase by up to seven per cent from next month.
The area's biggest provider Curo says it is implementing the rises to bring its properties' charges in line with the average across the region.
All tenants have had letters explaining their individual rent rise, which has been calculated on a personal basis depending on how much they were paying before.
The Government formula for calculating rents means they will all go up by an inflation-linked 3.1 per cent, but some may have an extra increase or decrease to bring them in line with the region's "target rent".
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Curo said it decided to implement the increases now to counteract the effects of Government welfare reforms, which are expected to cost it more than £500,000 in the first year. It fears an increase in rent problems because tenants are being given their benefits and asked to manage their own household budgets.
This is expected to rise to more than £800,000 in the following year and beyond.
A spokesman also said that for many years Curo had been well below the "target rents."
Increases range from 0.36 per cent or 26p a week to 7.41 per cent or £7.06 a week.
Any customers concerned about changes to benefits can call Curo's welfare reform hotline on 01225 366239.