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Current & Former Tenant Arrears Write off Policy & Procedure

Meeting: 30/06/2015 - Housing Scrutiny Committee (Item 66)

66 Current & Former Tenant Arrears Write off Policy & Procedure pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Minutes:

This item was chaired by Diana Minns (Vice Chair / Tenant Representative).

 

Matter for Decision

 

Approve the revised HRA Write-off Policy.

 

Decision of the Executive Councillor for Housing:

 

i.  Approved the revised HRA Write-off Policy at Appendix A subject to the amendment of the matrimonial write-off paragraph and typographical errors noted on p41 of the Policy.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The Committee received a report from the Business Manager / Principal Accountant. The report detailed an update of the HRA Write-off policy.  The Policy aimed to strengthen the Council’s position in relation to the write-off of former tenant, and other HRA debts where reasonable attempts had been made to recover the debt. 

 

In response to questions from the Committee, the Business Manager / Principal Accountant and the Director of Customer and Community Services stated the following:

 

i.  Was happy to amend the paragraph in the policy which related to matrimonial write-offs so that it took into account circumstances which involved domestic violence. 

ii.  The Council had not seen an increase in arrears following the introduction of the recent Welfare Reforms, which included the under-occupancy charge.  However it was anticipated that changes which included the direct payment of benefits to claimants may have an effect further down the line.

iii.  In relation to the costs involved in pursuing debts the Council had considered shared Legal Services, which should enable more specialist advice to be provided in-house and therefore require less use of external Legal service providers. 

iv.  Once a year a report would be brought back to Committee to show the volume and type of write offs.

 

The Committee:

 

Resolved unanimously to approve the recommendation subject to the amendment of the matrimonial write-off paragraph and typographical errors noted on p41 of the Policy.

 

The Executive Councillor for Housing approved the recommendation subject to the amendment of the matrimonial write-off paragraph and typographical errors noted on p41 of the Policy.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted).

 

No conflicts were declared by the Executive Councillor.