The City of York Council has halted the annual rent increase affecting social tenants for three months due to coronavirus outbreak.
The council said it is unable to reverse the annual increase in the billing system, which happens at the start of the financial year, but the increase will be refunded.
Council tenants are asked to pay their rent as usual and, those eligible, will be repaid the extra rent for the first three months from 1 April 2020.
Cllr Denise Craghill, executive member for housing and safer neighbourhoods at City of York Council, said: “While we can’t reverse the annual increase in the billing system at this stage in the financial year, we will ensure no individual has to cover this increase for the first three months of the year.
“Anyone worried about paying their rent as a result of changes in their circumstances due to the current emergency, should contact their housing management officer (HMO) and seek advice at:www.york.gov.uk/COVIDHousing
“For more detail on the financial help available to tenants affected by Coronavirus, please go to: www.york.gov.uk/COVIDFinancialHelp”
The council said tenants don’t need to take any further action because the refund will be credited direct to their rent account.
Tenants receiving Universal Credit and or housing benefits are not affected by the increase as their rental costs are already met.
Cllr Nigel Ayre, executive member for finance and performance, said: “We fully recognise that this is an incredibly difficult time for a lot of households and that is why deferring these rent increases will make a real difference to tenants on low incomes across York.
“Just like our commercial premises, it’s right that once again City of York Council sets an example to all landlords across York and does what it can to support residents.”
This post has originally been featured in Property Wire.