Price hikes of up to £300 a month for communal heating and hot water driven by rapid increase in energy costs
Peter Shapcott is sitting in his council flat in Brixton, south London. As he examines the bills that have come out of his bank account, he hovers his computer mouse over a screen showing how much money is left. The 67-year-old, who is terminally ill, has been paying his rent through credit in his account from overpaid water bills. He has £300 left, and now he must fund a steep hike in the service charge.
From April, his weekly payments for rent and communal services such as heating, hot water and maintenance have risen from £153 to £214, leaving him scrabbling to find an extra £61 a week. The spike is being driven by a big increase in energy costs.