THOUSANDS of Gentoo tenants across Wearside will see their rent rise by an average of £2.89 a week in April.
Letters will start hitting doormats by the end of the week and the rises will kick in from April 1.
As a registered social landlord, Gentoo’s rent rise is determined by a Government formula based on the inflation rate in September.
The rate can then be adjusted slightly to bring rents for different properties in line with national targets.
Ninety-four per cent of Gentoo tenants are living in properties which are already at the target level and their rents will rise by 3.7 per cent.
One per cent – mainly bungalows, flat and sheltered housing – will have an increase of less than 3.7 per cent, with the remaining five per cent seeing a steeper rise.
No-one will pay more than an extra £6.01 a week, and most tenants will see a weekly rise of less than £3.
Gentoo group executive director Steve Lanaghan said: “Our rent levels are set by a Government formula that we apply as a regulatory requirement to reach a target rent level.
“The rent increase depends upon the inflation level that the Government prescribe and is in line with the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) guidelines for annual rent increases.
“Taking account of the Government guidelines for rent increases and the rate of inflation for the previous 12 months, the average Gentoo rent across the city will increase by 3.8 per cent.
“Any annual rent increase goes alongside our continued investment into Sunderland and our vision to improve the Art of Living for our customers.
“I would also like to remind our customers, especially during these difficult financial times, to take advantage of the advice we have on offer to help manage their personal income and expenditure.”
As well as a letter informing them of their rent rise, all tenants will receive a reminder of the help available.
Gentoo customers can contact the Money Matters Team on 0300 123 2004, by texting the word ‘money’ followed by their name to 07725 151 515.