Up to 18,000 social housing tenants in the dark do not have to pay rent – for the next fortnight. Stoke-on-Trent City Council has scheduled the rent-free fortnight as tenants of its council house pay their rent over 48 weeks instead of 52 weeks. Tenants in arrears must still pay within the next fifteen days.
It comes as tenants are hit by a 4.1% increase in social housing rent from next month. It will see the average weekly rent fall from £78.13 to £81.31.
Housing Cabinet Member Councilor Carl Edwards said: ‘We calculate annual rent over 48 weeks, which means tenants who are in arrears can continue to make payments and reduce debt on weeks’ with no rent due. “. Tenants with a clear rent account can take advantage of these two weeks. Monthly payers should continue with their payments as they are taken into account in the calculation.
“Our revenue advisory team has identified nearly £2.5 million in additional revenue for tenants since April 2020. We continue to increase the number of tenants who pay their rent by direct debit and offer a raffle £200 vouchers are drawn on a quarterly basis for direct debit payers and there will be an annual draw for tenants who have managed to maintain their direct debit throughout the year”.
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