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Should rent changes be agreed five years in advance?

Sat, 16 Feb 2019

The Manx government is asking all local authorities whether they’d like to see changes to the rent setting process.

The Department of Infrastructure (DOI)  is proposing a five-year rental policy linked to CPI inflation, to allow tenants, local politicians and central government to plan for the long-term.

Officers believe this policy could be self-maintaining, and only under ‘exceptional circumstances’, such as a significant inflationary changes, would they revert to local authorities for their views.

It’s hoped it will allow an openness and transparency over revenue and expenditure, leading to a focus on affordability for tenants, not on reduction of the £6 million deficiency funding gap.

The five-year term is suggested due to links with the DOI’s capital programme, and with fixed tenancy agreements.

A short questionnaire has been sent to local authorities to gauge initial opinion on these proposals.

It comes after a significant increase in rents over the last seven years; in 2012 a public sector tenant paid an average fee equivalent to 25-30% of the market rate, in 2019 this was closer to 50%.

The rents are set each year by the department following recommendations from boards of commissioners around the Island, along with Douglas council.

The process begins in July and ends with an announcement in December.

A 2.1% rent rise is due in April this year.

By Ewan Gawn - Local Democracy Reporting Service


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