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South Holland council writes off more than £28,000 in housing benefit overpayments

South Holland District Council’s cabinet has written off uncollectable housing benefit overpayments totalling just over £28,828.

Members of the cabinet heard on Tuesday that the net indicative loss to the council is £17,297.

Finance portfolio holder Peter Coupland said all options for recovery and enforcement had been pursued.

News from the district council's cabinet
News from the district council's cabinet

Reasons for write-off included claimant insolvency, which alone accounted for more than £17,500, claimant death and debts listed as “uncollectable”.

But the council has beaten a national benchmark for rent collection.

Housing and health portfolio holder Christine Lawton said the housing services team collected 99.6 per cent of rents in the 2018/19 year - while the industry standard figure is 96 per cent.

Housing and health portfolio holder Christine Lawton
Housing and health portfolio holder Christine Lawton

Coun Lawton said: “I am really proud to say that.”

The councillor also presented a report on a new policy aimed at making it clearer to council tenants which repairs are their own responsibility and which are the council’s, as landlords.

Tenants are expected to do simple jobs in the house, such as replacing toilet seats, and kitchen and bathroom sink plugs.

The council is making a series of self-help videos to help tenants asses and solve some of the more commonplace issues.

A council spokesman explained: “Our housing repairs team attend around 700 responsive repairs every month for our tenants, and will treat any report that we receive seriously to help solve any problems they may have.

“We are always working with tenants to help them identify which issues should be reported to the council, helping our customer contact and repairs teams to deal with important and urgent calls quicker.

“As part of this we are currently creating a series of self-help tutorial videos which will show tenants how to assess, and if possible solve, some of the more common and simple maintenance issues we are contacted about.”

In other council news from www.spaldingtoday.co.uk

Spalding and Holbeach £500,000 regeneration plans get greenlight from South Holland District Council

Spalding and Holbeach Town Centres are in line for £500,000 regeneration

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