Tenants are opposing plans to increase their rent above the inflation level.

Rents next year are due to go up by two per cent above inflation under a new business plan.

And in each year after that, the rise will be one per cent higher than inflation.

This is in line with the Government's objective of narrowing the gap charged between housing associations and councils.

The Government also wants social housing rents to be kept within 60 to 70 per cent of market rents.

But at a meeting of Brighton and Hove Council's housing management consultation forum, tenants expressed alarm at the proposed rises and questioned why the property market rises should force up rents.

Chairman Pat Murphy said many people would have problems in paying higher rents even though more than seven out of ten tenants are on housing benefit.

Current average rent is £47.75 a week and the council still has more than 13,000 tenants in spite of council house sales.

The business plan assumes these sales under the right to buy legislation will continue at 110 a year.

It also says repairs costing £106 million will be needed to council houses and flats during the next decade to keep them in good condition.