AN affordable housing provider has decided not to appeal the decision of a rent tribunal which lowered a resident's rent significantly.

Karl Peter Bertenshaw applied for a determination of market rent through the First-tier Tribunal Property Chamber (FTT) after Stonewater upped his monthly costs at Pembroke House to £271.20.

He doesn't receive enough housing benefits to cover this and in the four years he's been in the one-bedroom flat there have been numerous problems.

On Monday, June 19, the chamber determined a market rent of £171.92 per week, inclusive of fixed service charges of £130.39, to take effect from April 3, 2023.

The tribunal found that Mr Bertenshaw's property falls short of the standard required by the market.

Read more: ​Pembroke House resident successful in tribunal against Stonewater

He had faced issues with damp building up inside his room and his electric heater didn't work.

Holly Edwards, assistant director of customer services, previously told the Journal that Stonewater was "disappointed" with the decision and that it would be appealed.

However, the company has U-turned and decided not to go forward with the appeal.

Salisbury Journal: Pembroke House.Pembroke House. (Image: Salisbury Journal)

Ms Edwards said: "We accept the FTT’s mechanism in setting Mr Bertenshaw's rent at £41.53 p/w, although this is exceptionally low for the area.

"This is an isolated case which has no relevance to other customers, so we've chosen not to appeal as it wouldn't be the best use of our resources."

Mr Bertenshaw said he is "very pleased" that Stonewater did not appeal the decision.

He added: "I hope it serves as a warning that if social housing landlords charge unrealistic rents and fail to carry out timely repairs they will be severely financially penalised."

Since residents in Pembroke House are classed as commercial customers, there is no cap on service charges imposed by the central government but rent is capped at an 11.1 per cent rise.

See more: Woman 'gave life away' to leave retirement home where homeless slept on sofas

This meant that Stonewater could increase the weekly cost of some residents' personal and communal electrical usage by more than 300 per cent in one year to reflect rising supplier costs.

Mr Bertenshaw created 'Stonewater UK Victims Forum', a social media page with more than 300 members, to bring issues to light.

In a statement to members, he said: "It brings me substantial gratification knowing that Stonewater will face a loss of £5,000 annually in rent revenue.

"The company's attempt to substantially increase both personal and communal electricity fees has resulted in an unforeseen and dramatic backlash."