THOUSANDS of tenants across Sunderland will see rents rise by an average of £4.48 this year, Gentoo revealed.
Letters are now landing in homes detailing exactly what tenants will be paying when the rise kicks in in April.
Gentoo uses a formula which combines September’s inflation rate of 5.6 per cent with the need to bring rents in line with Government targets – a six-year process called rent restructuring, which ends this year.
The average rent for Gentoo’s 29,232 properties is £69.67 per week, which will rise to £74.15 – an increase of 6.4 per cent.
Some properties will see increases below this level and others above it, with individual increase depending on how far the current rent is away from its target rent level, but bosses say no one will pay more than £7.77 extra a week.
Gentoo deputy chief executive John Craggs 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 prescribes.
“Taking account of the Government guideline for rent increases, the average Gentoo rent across the city will increase by 6.4 per cent. Some properties will have increases as low as 2.5 per cent.
“These changes were approved by our board in January and by April 2012, the majority of our properties will have reached their target rent level.
“Any annual rent increase does go alongside our continued investment of more than £1million a week in people, planet and property initiatives across the city.”
All tenants will be notified of their rent increase by the end of this month and will also be reminded of the help Gentoo’s offers on managing personal income and expenditure.
Sunderland City Council will also be notified of rent levels to ensure that housing benefit entitlement changes automatically from April.