Rent mistake hits 400 Chesterfield council tenants

Some council tenants in Derbyshire have been paying the wrong amount of rent for up to four years.

About 400 households were overcharged or undercharged due to an error by Chesterfield Borough Council.

The authority said those overcharged would be repaid with interest, while those who had paid too little would not have to make back payments.

The miscalculation affects about 4% of tenants, and in a number of cases dates back to 2006/07.

A spokesperson for the authority said: "The council will apply the corrected rent charges from April 2011 as part of the annual rents review process.

'Sincerely apologise'

"Those tenants that have been undercharged will see a higher increase in their rent charges this year.

"However, as many are already in receipt of housing benefit, payments will increase to cover the additional charge.

"There may also be tenants who, because of the rent increase, now become eligible for housing benefit."

Letters are being sent to all those affected - the majority of whom have been undercharged, according to the authority.

Councillor Tony Rogers, lead member for homes and neighbourhoods, said: "We sincerely apologise to those tenants affected by this administrative error.

"Any tenant who has been overcharged will be reimbursed in full. The circumstances causing the error have now been reviewed and it will not occur again."

Anyone concerned about their situation is advised to contact the council's customer services department.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites