Service charges for tenants

This page contains information about the consultation on revising service charges for tenants. This consultation must be seen in conjunction with the council’s wider consultation on budget proposals for 2019/2020 - 2020/2021. We ran two other consultations which you may be interested in: Adult Social Care charging policy review and future of two residential care homes. Please do take some time to read about the financial challenges we face and the other consultations you can contribute to.

Why do we have to save money?

Our housing service has its own budget, called the Housing Revenue Account. With this budget, we support services including managing the housing register, helping people and families to manage their budgets and debts, tenancy management, estate management, tenant involvement, independent domestic violence advocacy for the victims of domestic abuse, Telecare and responding services, repairs and maintenance, leasehold management and the decent neighbourhoods programme.

As a result of reductions in funding from central government, the housing service needs to make £3.15 million savings by 2020/21. These are in addition to the £15.05 million savings the council needs to make from its ‘General Fund’ budget (which covers everything apart from council housing).

What was the consultation on service charges for tenants about?

We sought views on a proposal to increase some service charges and introduce some new service charges to council tenants, which will help the housing service to balance its budget. The council’s current charges are lower than the actual costs and in some cases the council has not previously made a charge, but has been providing a service to tenants. The council has legal powers to charge for these services as long as the charges represent the actual cost of the service. These proposals reflect a step towards recovering the full cost of the services provided. These charges, in addition to ensuring we balance our housing accounts, will enable us to provide an effective service, invest in our properties, and assist our ambitions to provide new social housing.

The consultation on revising service charges for tenants was open from 24 October 2018 until 16 January 2019.

For all budget proposals an Equalities and Safety Impact Assessment is carried out to consider the potential effects of the proposals and plan mitigations. Please also refer to the frequently asked questions for more information.

Please see the main budget consultations page for more information about the other consultations that were open during this consultation period.