South West Wales

Swansea estate residents' 'distress' over soaring rent

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Media captionSwansea council says the increase will help raise much needed funds

Residents on a housing estate in Swansea are facing bills worth thousands of pounds after an increase in their ground rent.

Fees for householders on the Elba estate, Gowerton, have soared from £50 to up to £2,500 a year.

It comes as Swansea council revaluated 250 properties for the first time in 25 years.

One man, who did not want to be named, said the rise had caused "immense distress".

He said many will struggle to pay and some fear they will also be unable to sell their homes.

Best value for taxpayers

Swansea council says it is obliged to seek best value for taxpayers and the increase is based on open market rental value for the individual sites.

A spokesman said: "As part of the lease agreement these properties have their rent reviewed every 25 years.

"Each lease gives householders the opportunity to refer the rent review to an independent arbitrator to resolve if parties are unable to agree the revised rent."

The increase in ground rents on the estate could raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for the authority in new revenue.

Image copyright Athena
Image caption Some residents will face ground rent fees of up to £2,500 a year

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