Almost £100,000 of Leeds council tenant rent arrears to be written off

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almost £100,000 of rent arrears owed by former council tenants is to be written off as part of the latest round of slate-cleaning by Leeds City Council.

The authority has just taken the decision to clear 216 accounts with a value of £99,763.36 in total.

A report just signed off by the council’s housing director says the write-offs are for “irrecoverable debts relating to former tenant accounts”.

The report notes that Housing Leeds did manage to successfully collect almost £473,000 on former tenant accounts during the last financial year, and that £417,000 has been collected to date this year.

It adds that “bad debts” are only wiped from the record where “the recovery of these debts has been exhausted and therefore it would be uneconomic to pursue further recovery and would not represent value for money”.

Debts are written off for a number of reasons, including where no forwarding address is held or the tenant has moved abroad; where the account holder has died and has no next of kin; and where they will be in prison for over three years. Debt collection is also halted where the tenant is bankrupt.