Angus Housing Association (AHA) tenants are facing a rent increase at the rate of inflation.
The association confirmed the 2.4% rise, at the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate, will come into force in April.
It comes as Angus councillors approved a 3.5% hike for its tenants and Dundee increased 2019 levels by 3.75% – the two council areas in which AHA operates.
AHA director Bruce Forbes said the body’s 1,850 tenants had given a “positive response” to the association’s move.
The response rate from AHA tenants was also reasonable, with 12% of tenants getting involved, and the proposal for an inflation only increase being endorsed by more than 85% of the total respondents.
In Angus, although more than 80% voted in favour of the lowest of three suggested rises presented to tenants, just 2.5% of the authority’s overall tenant list responded to a consultation on the proposals.
Ahead of a proposal that the association’s committee of management endorse CPI inflation as the basis of all future rent increases, Mr Forbes said: “Since the introduction of austerity policies in 2010, we have increasingly been asked by our tenants to try to keep our rent increases to the absolute minimum.
“Our tenants have been telling us their wages and benefits have been stagnating and any increases above the rate of inflation were hitting them hard.
“To move away from assuming rental income would continue to grow at 1% above the old Retail Price Index was extremely challenging.
“In the past, this was the basis of how our public subsidy and our private borrowing was calculated.”
The proposals, he added, were the outcome of a 10-month review.
Mr Forbes continued: “We are now confident we can plan for the future on the basis of this inflation only, projected rental growth.
“In 2019/20, we will still be in a position where we can afford to borrow to build around 100 new homes.
“We also plan to invest £1.7 million in improvements to our existing stock and over £2 million in repairs, cyclical maintenance and servicing costs out of a total budget of around £8.6 million.
“No borrowing will be needed to achieve this level of investment in tenants’ homes.
“If external factors change in the future, however, our priority will be to keep our rent increases affordable to our tenants.
“Obviously, no tenant wants to pay more for their rent, especially if they do not see the money they pay being spent on increasing the quality and comfort of their own home. “In fact, nearly all of the tenants who opposed the inflation only rent increase wanted us not to increase rents at all.”