Non-confidential facts and advice to the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime (DMPC)
1. Introduction and background
1.1. The withdrawal of rent free residential accommodation for newly appointed officers was implemented with effect from September 1994 arising from the Sheehy Report.
1.2. The previously agreed policy is to annually review the rents and service charges for officer accommodation in line with the change in rents charged by Registered Social Landlords (RSL’s) who operate in London Boroughs.
2. Issues for consideration
2.1. Currently there are 19 officers (25 last year) who have an assured shorthold tenancy or room licence, and a further 226 (323 last year) who occupy Section House accommodation. Further reductions in officers using this accommodation, which may impact on the income generated, may arise due to recruiting from the London-only area.
2.2. Based on HCA rental data for the increase in social housing rents across London Boroughs the proposed rent levels are provided in the attached decision.
2.3. By way of comparison with private sector rents the average monthly rent for house/flats across London and in the City of Westminster where the core residential estate is located are set out in the attached decision.
2.4. In addition, Appendix 1 in the attached decision shows the rents/service charges which would be charged if the existing levels were increased by 8.54% to be comparable with key worker rental levels.
3. Financial Comments
3.1. Based on the current level of tenants residential rent income is expected to be £158,970 in 2016/17, an increase of £8,208 from 2015/16.
3.2. Based on the current level of section house tenants section house service charge income is expected to be £1,570,248 in 2016/17. An increase of £81,360 from 2015/16.
4. Legal Comments
4.1. Officers living in MOPAC houses or flats and section house rooms occupy under either an assured shorthold tenancy or a room licence, respectively.
4.2. Assured Shorthold Tenancies have a statutory basis that originates from the Housing Act 1988 (as amended). Rent under the standard Assured Shorthold Tenancy and the standard licence for a section house room may be reviewed in accordance with the rent review clause(s) incorporated within the tenancy/licence document, provided adequate notice is given of the increase and the rent increase is in line with the market rate (and is not excessive). The report confirms the proposed rental increases are in line with charges made by other Registered Social Landlords.
4.3. The recommendations are within the DMPC’s broad powers to do anything that is calculated or facilitated or conducive to its functions, and the increased rental charges supports the maintenance of an efficient MOPAC estate.
5. Equality Comments
5.1. There are no direct equality implications arising from this report