Denbighshire council house tenants face a hike in rents of one per cent above inflation from April.

The figure was revealed in a report to the authority’s cabinet on Tuesday.

The rise, which is effectively inflation (0.5 per cent) plus one per cent, equates to an average weekly increase of £1.38, which means the average weekly council property rent will be £93.89 per week.

Service charges, for those who need to pay them, will be slightly lower than this year averaging £2.14 per week, per household.

The council will receive an extra £452,000 in rental income to help cover extra outgoings this year.

Cllr Mark Young, lead member for planning, public protection and communities, said he was “concerned about affordability”.

Cllr Bobby Feeley, lead member for well-being and independence, went further and asked whether the rise could be put off until next year.

She said: “I would suggest the timing of this increase could be damaging with more people than ever before on benefits.

“Would it be possible to shelve this increase until next year, when we will be through this crisis and out the other side?”

Cllr Julian Thompson-Hill, lead member for finance, performance and strategic assets, said legislation would allow them to recoup that money at a later date.

He said: “If we don’t do it this year we will only be able to take CPI (Consumer Price Index) plus 1%.

“What it would mean is our income would be quite considerably less and would affect the viability of the housing stock going forward.”

The council has a duty to make all homes fit for purpose while trying to reach it’s carbon net zero goal by 2030.

Geoff Davies, lead officer for community housing, said: “The welfare of residents is uppermost in my thoughts.

“Rent increases in my time have usually been four or five percent. If we don’t do this we will £240,000 off and we will never get it back.

“One of the big things we want to do is decrease people’s fuel bills because we know some of our properties are not fuel efficient.

“This year our rent increases are a lot lower than in the past and we are below the target rent.”

Target rents, the rents given as a guide by Welsh Government as fair rents, have risen by 11 per cent in recent years but Denbighshire’s rents have only increased by 9 per cent over the same period, said Mr Davies.

Almost £6.5m of the housing budget will be spent in 2021/22 to pay off capital finance and interest on existing and future loans used to build new properties.

The maintenance budget will be around £5.1m and management of properties will account for another £3.3m – all coming from the £16.7m income.