NEARLY four out of five East Lothian Council tenants who took part in a consultation over rent charges supported plans for a five per cent increase over the next financial year.

A report on a proposed rent increase revealed 78 per cent of those asked if they believed it was fair said yes.

The council sent a letter to all its tenants, asking for their views on the housing service and rents. It said it received 1,262 responses which equated to a 14.74 per cent return rate.

More than half of those who took part in the survey were over the age of 65, with only 11 per cent aged 44 or younger.

The council has a duty to consult with tenants if it is proposing a rent increase and carries out the survey annually.

Any rent increase will have to be approved at a meeting of the full council this month when the local authority sets its new budget.

A draft budget plan drawn up by the minority Labour administration puts forward a five per cent rent increase annually for the next four years, which would increase the revenue from housing rent from £28.3 million this year to an estimated £39.7 million in 2023/2024.