Southwark Council owed millions in rent arrears every year

Admin (04 March, 2015) Housing

One tenant has built up a debt of more than £18k

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Southwark Council  is owed millions in uncollected rent, with one tenant racking up a debt of more than £18,000, the News can reveal.

As of February, the running total of rent owed this year was £9.72million, which is an improvement on last year’s total of £9.93million with the year before that coming in at £10.39million.

In response to a Freedom of Information Request, the News was informed that one tenant had managed to build up a debt of £18,521.46 after a housing benefit blunder left them in the red.

Southwark’s cabinet member for housing, Cllr Richard Livingstone, said: “Tenants can fall behind on their rent for a wide variety of reasons. Eviction is always the council’s last resort. As soon as arrears occur on rent accounts the housing team will start to work with tenants and support agencies to find a manageable payment programme.

“This gives them the opportunity to catch up with their rent before we have to look to eviction, regardless of the amount owed.”

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