Councillors approve rent rise

Rents for council homes are to go up by 4.8% from 1 April, the first increase in three years.

£4.04 a week for average 2 bed flat

The rise will mean tenants in an average two bedroom flat will pay an extra £4.04 a week while the average weekly rent for a three bedroom council house will go up by £4.33.

Increase deferred during Covid

Midlothian Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for housing, Cllr Stuart McKenzie said: “We realise putting up rents won’t be welcomed by everyone, especially in a cost of living crisis, but it’s the first rise since 2020 as we agreed to defer a 3% annual increase during Covid. 

Help build more new homes

“We’re hoping tenants will understand the increase, which is below the rate of inflation, will help us build 300 extra new homes, over and above the 1,007 planned for between 2023/24 and 2027/28.

Growing waiting list

“This will be a real help as demand for affordable homes is growing – there are currently 4,627 people on the waiting list.”

Rent consultation responses

Cllr McKenzie said the 4.8% rise was based on the outcome of the recent rent strategy consultation open to all tenants and those on the waiting list. A total of 530 people responded between 7 November 2022 and 6 January 2023. 

Asked to choose a percentage rise

Respondents were asked to choose from rises of between 4.1%, which would allow for no extra new homes to be built over and above those already budgeted for, up to 6%, which would pay for an extra 1,000 new homes.

Rise choices

A total of 28% of respondents opted for the 4.1% rise, 25% chose a 6% rise, 17% opted for a 4.4% rise and 12% stated rents should rise by 5%. Rises of 4.6% and 4.8% were each chosen by 8% of respondents while 1% opted for a 5.2% increase.


Cllr McKenzie said: “The majority of people chose either the smallest or the biggest rise so taking into account commitments around making sure rents remain affordable, housing officers recommend a middle ground of a 4.8% increase.”

Increase approved

At the full Council meeting on Tuesday, councillors approved the increase.

22 Feb 2023