A council that recently demanded public cash to help Covid-related arrears has found itself in hot water over its own rent demands on social tenants.
Oxford council recently introduced a new computer system for its 7,800 council flats and houses - but its run into a problem with its quarterly rent statements.
Chief executive Caroline Green admits: “There were some errors in the data transferred from the old system to the new one resulting in a small proportion of rent statements being sent to the wrong address.”
The authority is now using staff to override the system but because this error is a potential breach of the Data Protection Act, the council has reported the matter to the Information Commissioner’s Office to investigate.
The ICO is an independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy.
Green continues: “The council has also written to those tenants who have been affected, offering our sincere apologies for the error and any inconvenience or concerns this may have caused them.”
Last month, after the end of the latest eviction ban, Oxford council lobbied government to give more help to private tenants, issuing a statement which read: “The resumption of evictions could be catastrophic in Oxford as nearly half of our city’s homes are privately rented and the economic impact of Covid-19 will last long after the end of the eviction ban. The government needs to take action now to prevent a potential wave of homelessness among private tenants who have fallen into arrears through no fault of their own.”
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