Tenants banned from moving if home is damaged
A local authority is cracking down on tenants who trash their council homes before moving on to a new one by forcing them to pay before they leave.
Greenwich Council has announced that from Monday, tenants who leave their homes in filthy or damaged conditions will have to pay to put things right before they are allowed to move to their new home.
When a tenant informs the council that they want to move out, officers will inspect the home while they are out viewing others.
The inspection will be compared to photographs taken of the home before the tenant moved in and any damage will be noted and payment demanded.
The council said that an average of 1,300 of its 23,000 council homes change hands each year with an average repair cost of £4,000.
Incidents of deliberate damage and theft include unauthorised alterations and the removal of copper piping for scrap.
Steve Offord, member for housing at Greenwich Council, said: ‘Our new policy is something that tenants’ reps and groups have been pressing for because they see people leave a mess and then move into something that’s new and nice.
‘It’s hard to recover the costs if people are not in work. It might be just a few pounds a week they have to pay but we are left with costs of thousands of pounds. So it’s better for us, if we have to, to say ‘sorry you can’t move’.’