Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 11 February 2023
NUNEATON and Bedworth Borough Council (NBBC) have taken back three properties where tenants were scheduled for eviction, as a result of rent arrears.
All three of the properties – in Nuneaton – had ‘significant’ rent arears. And despite the Council obtaining Possession Orders from the County Court, they failed to pay or clear their rent arrears.
In fact, one of the properties racked up a shocking total of more than £5,000 in arrears, and it was thought that the tenants had vacated the property and left it abandoned.
When it was visited by a County Court bailiff, their suspicions rung true, as no persons were present inside, and the property had been left in ‘poor’ condition.
At the second property, a tenant incurred arrears over £2,000 – despite being on an introductory tenancy contract.
Upon arrival, the tenant was still removing items from the property at their scheduled eviction time, and they had to leave items behind to arrange for collection later.
Reports had been made of a third property potentially being abandoned. The tenant was being pursued for rent arrears through the Courts.
This property was successfully reclaimed when it was found to be empty, but thankfully, in a reasonable state of repair.
A further property was scheduled for an eviction, however the tenant applied to the County Court to suspend the eviction warrant.
After engaging with the Council’s Enforcement team and committing to a payment plan going forwards, the application was supported by the Council, and the tenant was able to remain in their home.
Coun. Clare Golby, the Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities, said: “During the pandemic, due to temporary legislation, local councils couldn’t take legal action for rent arrears.
“This means that some tenants in Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough simply stopped paying their rent and there was nothing the Council could do about it. The legislation has now reverted back to normal, and we are ramping up operations in a big push to catch up with defaulters.
“If you are one of our tenants and are having genuine difficulty paying your rent, please talk to us. We can help. I can’t emphasise this enough. If you are a deliberate defaulter, we will catch up with you.
“Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council provides housing to residents in Nuneaton, Bedworth, Bulkington, Exhall and Keresley.
“Deliberate rent arrears or abandoned properties are a burden on the local authority and the tax payer, plus with a shortage of housing stock for families in need it’s a waste of homes that could be used by people desperately in need.
“I will not allow properties to be abandoned and stood empty or people to intentionally not pay what they owe. We will take the necessary action to get our property back.”