COUNCIL house rents in Moray are set to rise but by how much could be down to tenants themselves.
Senior councillors and officials insist that to continue building new council houses, the authority will have to increase rents by more than 3.5%.
However, opposition Labour and SNP councillors claimed this would be an attack on some of the most vulnerable people in society.
A potential hike of 5% sparked a row among members of the communities committee on Tuesday.
Chairman Eric McGillivray said Moray had some of the lowest council house rents in Scotland.
And he wants to give tenants the chance to have their say on whether they would be keen to pay a bit extra to help fund new council homes.
With over 3,300 people on the council housing waiting list, there is a need to provide more local authority housing, he added.
However, Labour councillor Barry Jarvis said to increase rents by up to 5% would "squeeze hard pressed tenants".
SNP councillors also condemned any increase of that size.
The council will now consult its tenants before a final decision is made on the level of council rent increase.
To read more on this story see 'The Northern Scot' on Friday.