Council gets tough on rent arrears

East Dunbartonshire Council is tackling rent arrears head on, with the warning that falling behind with your rent can lead to you losing your home.

The move comes during a Council advertising campaign aimed at tackling the issue of rent arrears.

The campaign, which poses the question ‘Up to your ears in rent arrears?’, will run on local buses and our newspapers for the next three weeks.

Convener of Neighbourhood Services, Councillor Stewart MacDonald said: “A condition of a tenancy agreement is that tenants must ensure their rent account is paid up-to-date. Even if a tenant is in receipt of Housing Benefit, it is their responsibility to make sure their claim is up to date by providing all relevant paper work and reporting any changes in their circumstances to the benefits service.

“If a tenant fails to keep their rent account up to date and arrears are increasing then the Council can, and do, take legal action to seek to recover the lost rent and even the property. Ultimately if rent isn’t paid and arrears continue to increase tenants can be evicted.”

Over the last year, East Dunbartonshire Council has evicted a total of 10 tenants from their home for rent arrears.

Councillor MacDonald added: “Obviously we will only evict people as a very last resort. Before that we will work with tenants, looking at payment options and encouraging them to apply for benefits they may be entitled to.

“Every effort will be made to keep them in their home.

“I would urge anyone who is experiencing difficulty in paying their rent to get in touch with their Housing Officer – we are here to help. We can also help those with multiple debt issues by referring on to other agencies.”

Tenants should call 0300 123 4510 and as to speak to the local Housing Officer.