Lambeth Council is sitting on a pot of over £6 million of your overpaid council tax.  

There are 28,886 overpaid council tax accounts in the borough – with an exact figure of £6,058,932 owed, an investigation from the Local Democracy Reporting Service using Freedom of Information powers revealed.

Each council taxpayer owed money could be an average of around £209.

The staggering figure is nearly seven times more than in neighbouring Southwark – where less than £1 million is owed.

The council said there are a number of reasons for accounts to be overpaid, including people failing to stop direct debits or a home getting a retrospective discount.  

It added said it can also be difficult to trace people after they move home.  

Council tax can be paid in advance, with the option to pay for a whole year ahead, which people may forget about when they move.

A Lambeth Council spokesman said the authority makes it as easy as possible for people to reclaim money left in their accounts and there is no time limit.  

He said: “Most local authorities hold some balances from closed council tax accounts, and Lambeth is no different, but we make it as easy as possible for people to reclaim the money left in their accounts. 

“Closed accounts can remain in credit for a number of reasons – for example, where a property gets a retrospective discount or regular payment has not been cancelled. 

“We regularly check to make sure the details we hold are accurate and up to date, and make every effort to arrange refunds where they are due – including trying to contact account-holders via text message.”

He said since April 2019 the council has made 42,627 refunds totalling more than £9 million. 

He added: “However, refunds are sometimes difficult to arrange if the account-holder has moved and can’t be traced.  

“So we enable people to reclaim the balances from their closed accounts quickly and simply via our website.” 

Lambeth approved a 4.99 per cent council tax hike in March. 

The rise equates to just under £80 extra per year for residents in Band D properties and is the biggest increase that can be made without the council holding a referendum.     

Lambeth’s finance lead said the government has left councils no other choice after continuous budget cuts.