This will be dependent on a large number of factors. As the new homes would be built to higher modern insulation standards, energy bills should be lower than in existing homes. In addition, when designing the new buildings every effort would also be made to keep future maintenance needs to a minimum, which will reduce service charges. Leaseholders shouldn't expect ‘Section 20' costs (for major works) for a number of year, given that they would be living in new properties.
Also all new homes will have water meters to comply with building regulations. This will also be accompanied by the installation of low usage taps, showers and toilets, which give residents greater control over their water bills. Residents may experience increases in Council Tax, if the new properties are of a higher value.
Council tenants will continue to have their rent set according to the same Government formula as they are at the moment. They will also be subject to the same increase as council tenants elsewhere in Lambeth. As this formula takes account of the value of the homes based on quality and location, the level of rents of the properties on Cressingham are likely to be higher than for an equivalent home on the estate now.
However, a key action that arose from the Cressingham Gardens Equalities Impact Assessment was the need to mitigate potential living cost increases associated with living in new homes on a regenerated estate. To address this the Council has agreed to phase increases in rent over a 5-year period. The Council has also had to plan for the Government's proposed 4% rent reduction over the next 4 years.
We expect that the increase in rents caused by the higher value of properties could be around 15% for a 2 bedroom house over 5 years – this would mean a 3% annual increase for 5 years. After the initial 5 years, any rent increases would be the same as those for all other council homes across Lambeth. Should the regeneration go ahead, we will make sure tenants know what rents to expect as soon as we are able to provide firm figures.
In summary, taking into account increased and decreased costs, the Council would expect that residents would experience a marginal change in the cost of living in and running their homes.
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