FOR almost 20 years Bayswater council hasn’t charged Maylands Tennis Club rent, and now the city’s reviewing all its lease agreements to see if there are other freeloaders on the books.
In 1999 the council agreed to rent out 56 Clarkson Road to the club for $509 a year plus utilities, adjusted for CPI.
It was regarded as a generous deal for the boutique grass court club on Maylands Peninsula, and the rental component is now worth about $760.
However council staff recently discovered the city has only been charging utilities, meaning it’s missed out on $11,848.98 in rent.
A staff report to councillors recommended writing off the entire debt as a “goodwill” gesture because the sloppy bookkeeping wasn’t the club’s fault.
But resident Harvey Tonkin implored councillors at Tuesday’s council meeting not to wipe off the debt.
“As a ratepayer I am not impressed that council is wiping the debt under the guise that they are at fault and the management committee wishes to donate the sum to the club to wipe the debt,” Mr Tonkin said at question time.
“It seems the club has had 18 years of [free] rent.
“Will the councillors show guts and determination and ensure the club pays their fair share of the rent owing?”
However councillors let the item pass through without discussion and the club was off the hook.
The free rent situation came to light after the city reviewed its accounts receivable system.
by DAVID BELL