Council tenants in the Melton borough could be offered a cash payment when they vacate a property to motivate them to maintain it to a good standard.
The so-called ‘golden goodbye’ scheme is being considered by Melton Council in a bid to ensure more of their properties are available quicker for people on the housing waiting list.
Cabinet members decided at their latest meeting to consult tenants on bringing in the initiative to reduce the costs of making homes habitable again for new tenants and to lessen the financial burden the council faces in having to house people in temporary accommodcation such as bed and breakfast establishments and hotels.
A report to the committee revealed that the council was losing almost £150,000 a year from ‘void properties’ - housing stock unfit to be lived in - and that the average spend to make them habitable again was £3,600 per property.
Some of the issues were noted in the report: “There are a variety of events which lead to a property becoming void such as death, transfer to alternative property, or termination of tenancy as a result of a possession order.
“Properties are often vacated in a poor state of repair and/or requiring clearance which adds time and costs to the process.”
It adds: “The possibility of providing a financial incentive to the tenant for leaving the property in a good state of repair in order to save the authority time and money in getting the property in an acceptable standard to re-let should be explored further.”
The Tenants Forum Executive Committee are said in the report to be positive about a possible ‘golden goodbye’ scheme.
The tenants group has raised issues about delays and sub-standard work on council property repairs.