Darlington Borough Council has announced it will write off debts of more than £1.2m for the second year running.
The debts, which the council says are ‘not economical to pursue’, include rent arrears, housing benefit overpayments and council tax.
‘All councils need to write off unrecoverable debts. The amount we have written off is less than 1% of the total amount collectable,’ said Cllr Stephen Harker, deputy leader and cabinet member for efficiency and resources.
‘Every avenue is taken to try and recover the debt before it is recommended for write-off. It is simply not economical to pursue these debts any further.’
The council insisted that this was common practice for all authorities and pointed out that if the tenants re-appear they will still be liable for outstanding debt.