Rents cut for Gentoo tenants after Budget changes come into force

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Thousands of Gentoo tenants will see their rents cut from next month.

Letters are going out this week outlining how much people will pay from the beginning of April.

Chancellor George Osborne announced during July’s budget speech that rent levels in social and affordable housing would be cut by 1% a year for the next four years.

That means the average Gentoo tenant, paying £81.18 a week, will see their rent drop by 81p a week to £80.37.

The maximum decrease will be £1.28 per week and the minimum £0.60.

The drop will apply to the majority of Gentoo’s 28,000 tenants, but the Government recently announced a one-year exemption from the 1% reduction for supported and sheltered housing.

Gentoo is reviewing the announcement, but believes the move means a small number of tenants will see their rent increase.

Assistant chief executive Steve Lanaghan said: “Our rent levels are set by a Government formula that we apply as a regulatory requirement.

“The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has clear guidelines, which all social housing landlords must follow. The Chancellor’s summer Budget of June 2015 set out that social and affordable rent levels would reduce by 1% every year for the next four years, which will start for our customers this April.

“In January 2016 the Government also announced a one-year exemption for supported and sheltered housing. A small number of properties will be impacted by this increase.

“In regards to these changes, our rental strategy will continue to ensure that we deliver a first-class housing management service as well as inspire people and build strong communities.”

Gentoo has linked the rent cuts to its need to axe hundreds of jobs. The firm warned last year job losses were necessary as it looks to cut more than £70m from its budget.