THERE has been a big increase in the number of tenants quitting Kirklees council homes and leaving behind massive rent arrears.
The total has risen by a staggering £14,859 a week since April.
Councillors will demand an explanation when they discuss the debts tomorrow as total arrears now top £6.5m.
They will be handed a dossier which shows how arrears involving former tenants have soared by 9.2%
At the end of March the figure stood at £3.42m - now it is £3.73m.
A senior councillor today said it was time for the debts to be chased up with a sense of urgency.
Labour councillor Ken Smith said: "The level of former tenants arrears is very worrying and it does not appear that it is being given a high priority.
"At the end of the day, this comes out of tenants' pockets. They either have to pay more rent to make up the shortfall or lose out on repairs or other services."
A council probe will examine the figures at a Huddersfield Town Hall meeting tomorrow.
But there is good news on rent owed by present tenants.
Their arrears have fallen by £624,382 since April to £2,898,235 - a 17.7% reduction.
The number of cases in arrears has dropped from 10,043 to 8,431 over the same period.
It is the lowest level of arrears by current tenants since October, 2001.
Housing officials said it was a "significant milestone".
Clr Smith, a member of the board of Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing which runs council homes, said: "They've done well on current arrears, but they will have to work hard on former tenant arrears."
The number of cases involving former tenants has climbed since April from 6,634 to 7,165.
Eighteen months ago the District Auditor told the council it must improve collection of both rents and council tax.
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