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City West to double garage rent charge in April

Customers renting garages with City West have been left shocked after being told that their rent is to double as of Monday 4 April.

Letters sent out last weekend informed them of the planned rent increase.

Nick Moreton has has rented a garage from the housing association at Argosy Drive in Peel Green since 2005 after being on a two-year waiting list.

He said the 100% increase was a step too far.

“I spoke to a David Wright at ForViva and was told that the rent increase is non-negotiable and I will have to agree to it or give up my garage.

“Apparently Urban Vision have re-evaluated their stock and come up with the rent figure.”

By April Nick’s costs would go up from £14.96 a month to £30.36 a month.

“I really am disappointed in their attitude of like it or lump it, but I’m clueless as to what I can do,” he said.

The letter has taken many customers aback.

It suggests City West has been undercharging customers for garage rents for some years.

City West joined the ForViva group of social landlords in June 2015.

They include Merseyside-based Villages Housing Association and ForWorks, a building contractor and construction firm with head offices on Eccles New Road, originally called City West Works.

Read: City West win planning permission for new Eccles block of flats

Phil Hogan, from Irlam, said he’d handed in his two weeks’ notice to give up his garage after hearing about the rent hike.

“It normally goes up yearly in line with inflation, in the past it’s been between 2p and 10p a year.

“I know most of the area has just had the garages done up, except one or two like us who have the old concrete garages.

“But now my rent will increase from £3.80 to £7.34 a week.”

City West explained in their letter to customers that rent rise was to bring the stock ‘in line with local market values’.

The rent review is due to start in April with funds being taken automatically from owners’ accounts.

In a statement the housing association told SalfordOnline.com: “City West Housing Trust recently carried out an independent market rent review of its garage portfolio.

“This recommended that the current rental should be increased in line with local market values, particularly given the improvements City West has made and is planning to make to garages through its Investment Programme.

“As always, our customers are our priority and we will be working closely to support them through this process, particularly if they have welfare or affordability issues.”

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A third year BA Journalism student at Salford University. Special interests: Music and Sport. Follow me on twitter @charlotte041994