Authority sought to write-off unpaid Perth and Kinross housing debts

Perth and Kinross CouncilPerth and Kinross Council is to ask members of its strategic policy and resources committee to give authority to write-off some of the outstanding debts of money owed to different services across the council.

The debts proposed to be written off include £281,607.29 in rent charges owed by former tenants and £18,591.61 in respect of money owed for garage sites and lock ups.

The in year collection rate for housing rents was 97 per cent, the total rental charges raised in 2015/16 was approximately £24.6 million.

Charges for housing services provided to homeless clients placed in temporary accommodation totalling £17,314.60 could also be written off. The total amount billed during 2015/16 for housing service charges was £2.6m with the proposed write off representing approximately 0.66 per cent of this amount.

The proposed write-off also includes £388,271.93 of Council Tax debt (including Water and Waste Water Charges) and £112,794 in respect of the Car Park Trading Account income.

Councillor Ian Miller, convener of the strategic policy and resources committee, said: “Every year the members of this committee are asked to give permission for certain debts to be written off; however, this does not mean that officers stop pursuing outstanding payments owed to the council for the service provided.

“If people are in receipt of a service provided by the council then they are expected to pay for it and to do so in timely fashion.  Every year the majority of people do just that and I am pleased that they take this responsibility seriously.  Council Tax collection rates for Perth and Kinross is a prime example of this; the 2015/16 Council Tax collection rate for the area was 97.27 per cent, making it one of the highest collection rates in Scotland.

“If people fail to pay what they owe the council then they are potentially impacting on the level of service we will be able to provide to other people in the future.”

The committee meets on June 15.

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