An audit of the council’s finances found its collection performance is at “the lower range of the scale when compared with other local authorities”.
The council yielded 77 percent of the total owed for rent.
Waterford council tenants pay between 16 and 18 euros per week, while 390 households did not return their income details to the council.
Fine Gael councillor John Cummins is surprised that the council only started assessing its tenants’ incomes two years ago.
He asked what actions are being put in place to make up the additional 33 percent shortfall. On the fact that annual rent assessments are only being conducted since
2017 Councillor Cummins said he would have thought that this was being done all of the time. He said “surely it’s not a case that someone who comes in at a rate in 2015 is on the
same rate regardless of increases in their income over a period of time.
The council’s housing director, Ivan Grimes says numerous actions are being taken.
These include withholding repair works on households that don’t pay rent to the council.
He says there is a policy that if you are in arrears and not in a payment plan they will not provide any housing services, there will be no maintenance provided. If the boiler breaks,
the council will not fix it.
Ivan Grimes says they have commenced enforcement orders against a number of the higher earner tenants with significant arrears with a view to ultimately seeking their eviction in the courts.
He says council tenants must inform the local authority if their income changes.