MORAY Council has spent more than £365,000 to repair damage caused by council house tenants in the past five years.
The figures emerged from a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, lodged by Fochabers-Lhanbryde Councillor Douglas Ross.
He said the local authority must now be tougher on tenants who show disregard for their properties.
"It’s quite alarming that, what I know will be a very small proportion of council tenants, could cause so much damage," the Scottish Conservative member said.
In budget consultations, residents voiced concerns that some tenants damage their properties, but are still given new homes. Figures for rechargeable repairs have been in steady decline, however, with the price tag dropping from £117,005 in 2007/2008 to £33,836 in 2011/12.
While welcoming the decrease, Councillor Ross said a stronger stance is needed. "I’m certain that the vast majority of council tenants never cause the council any trouble but I think we need to be tougher on those who do," he said.
"Even with the cost of damage falling over the last five years we are still spending tens of thousands of pounds repairing properties and that is money, time and labour which could be better spent elsewhere."