Council records sharp drop in rent arrears

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Croydon Council has seen rent arrears amongst its tenants drop by 9% in the last year.

Unpaid rent levels in the borough fell over four weeks in March by more than £51,000, bringing arrears for the last financial year down by nearly £150,000, from £1,596,709 in April 2013.

The rent collection rate for 2013/14 was at 99% of the £82 million due - better than the average for the last five years.

The council has credited the drop in arrears to the range of support itself and its partner organisations have provided, including helping tenants to find work and manage their finances, advise on welfare benefits, reduce living costs and move to smaller homes in the wake of the bedroom tax.

Councillor Dudley Mead, cabinet member for housing, said: “The reduction in rent arrears over the last four weeks is an excellent achievement.

“I’m also delighted to see arrears are almost £150,000 lower than they were at the start of the year, which is all the more commendable given the challenges posed by the introduction of the welfare reforms last year.

“But now we must make sure this good work continues as we begin 2014/15.”