Lambeth sets out proposals for council rents and reduced heating and hot water bills

5 January 2024

Written by: Lambeth Council

News and announcements

Lambeth’s cabinet is to discuss proposals for setting the level of rent and service charges in council housing for the coming year.

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Lambeth sets out proposals for council rents and reduced heating and hot water bills

The HRA Budget, Rent and Service Charge setting report sets out a recommendation to increase the rents for all council tenants by 7.7%, which is within the Government’s suggested rate.  This means that, if agreed, the average council rent in the borough for a two-bedroom property would rise by £9.29 a week from £120.69 to £129.98.  The report, to be debated at a cabinet meeting on 15 January, also discloses that tenants who pay for communal gas heating and hot water are set to see their bills cut by an average of £25 a week. The reduction is due to falling gas prices in the global energy markets. A weekly increase of £0.35 to common service charges paid by tenants will also be on the agenda.

Changes in government policy and nationwide price pressures have meant Lambeth Council must increase its rents so as to set a balanced budget in its Housing Revenue Account (HRA). This is a ring-fenced account used solely for funding of the council’s housing stock.  It funds council services such as repairs and maintenance for the Lambeth’s own tenants. 76% of the money in the HRA is generated from rents.

Without increasing rents, the council would fall into budget deficit (raising less money than it is spending) and so not then have the funds it needs to manage and maintain its existing homes under its 30-year Business Plan. In 2022/23, Lambeth completed 109,156 housing repairs, invested in 2,000 new fire doors and delivered retrofit improvements to over 1,000 council homes so they are warmer, safer, cheaper and more sustainable.

Councillor Maria Kay, Cabinet Member for Better Homes and Reducing Homelessness said:“I’m pleased that overall, some Lambeth tenants will see their bills from the council fall despite the record inflation we have all faced in recent years. Raising rents is a difficult decision but doing so is crucial so we can deliver the investment in improving homes that Lambeth residents deserve.

“Lambeth Council remains committed to delivering home improvements for more than 33,000 tenanted and leaseholder properties and recognises the impact these changes will have on our residents.

” Continued underfunding from Government means Lambeth needs to look at all our available options to generate income and provide our residents with the services they deserve.

“There have been significant challenges facing the HRA budget caused by rising inflation pushing up the price of materials and increasing demand for housing repairs and maintenance.

“In addition to our repairs, maintenance, and improvement programmes, we also have to meet our important obligations under new Building Safety Regulations, ensuring that homes meet modern fire safety standards, and that our homes are up to the Lambeth Housing Standard, which guarantees our residents live in good quality and safe homes.”



The reduction in heating and hot water charges only applies to those council tenants who pay Lambeth Council for their communal gas heating and hot water as opposed to having a direct relationship with an energy provider.

Each year local authority housing landlords must set rents and budgets for the forthcoming financial year and provide each tenant with statutory notice of any proposed rent and service charge changes.

This year’s planned increase of 7.7% is within the government guidelines which stipulates that the weekly rent of any existing tenant may not be increased by more than the Consumer Price Index (CPI) measure of inflation, as of September, plus 1 percentage point. In September 2023 the CPI was 6.7%. The majority of tenants’ service charges will also increase in line with September’s CPI figure.