Former tenant arrears policy

When to Write-Off Debts - in line with Financial Regulations

6.1 Every effort will be made to recover debts. Action to trace the former tenant and recover the debt will be taken before giving consideration to be recommended for write-off.

6.2 Writing off of debts will be approved in line with the council’s Financial Regulations, which are set out below.

Debts under £50

6.3 When the debt is under £50 the FTA will be approved for write-off by the officer’s line manager as it is deemed as uneconomical to pursue / collect.

Debts over £50

6.4 Authorisation limits for the writing off of debt will be as follows, with write-offs over £10,000 requested on the advice of the Section 151 officer.

Value Authorised by
Amounts under £5000 Individual officers and limits determind, where specific procedures are in place for categories of debt, which have been approve by the section 151 officer.
Amounts under £10,000 Section 151 Officer in consultation with Executive Member for Resources
£10,000 to £49,999 Executive Member for Resources
£50,000 and above Cabinet
Any value which wil cause a deficit in the general fund or housing repairs account Council
Circumstances of debt Debt £50.00 - £199.99 Debt £200 and above
Tenant dies with no successor or, Tenant moved into residential care Write off ig there has been no response from executor/debtor within 28 days of sending a letter, or if there are insufficient funds to pay. Write off if there has been no response from executir/debtor to two letters within 56 days, or there are insufficient funds.
Tenant has left property for any other reason Contact former tenant and/or Next of kin (NOK) if we have their details. If not then carry out in-house tracing. If tracing is successful then start collection. If tracing is unsuccessful case will be forwarded to DCA for Trace and collect. If DCA unable to contact for 3 months debt to be returned and written off.

Where in-house tracing has been unsuccessful, refer to external debt collection agency (DCA).

The contractor in all cases where no arrangement has been made within 3 months from date of receipt of the case from the Council shall return the case to the Council.

If returned due to no forwarding address found then we will carry out in-house tracing every 13 weeks.

Where there has been no success after one year, FTA will be written off.

Extra information for evicted tenants We are aware that if the former tenant has been evicted and has not for evicted tenants already re-paid the FTA after receiving a Court order then it may be difficult to recover the FTA. However, often former tenants’ circumstances change and they may become in a position to repay their FTA when previously they were not. The officer will carry out in-house tracing to check the former tenant’s circumstances and then begin collection action as appropriate.

Statute Barred

6.5 The debt is over six years old, no legal action has been taken and there has been no contact with the debtor within a six year period.

6.6 If a former tenant approaches us for re-housing at any time we will reinstate any FTA previously written off, unless the debt has been written off as statute barred.