Perth and Kinross Council to review rent arrears

Perth and Kinross CouncilThe housing and health committee of Perth & Kinross Council will discuss the performance of its Rent 1st Campaign as well as revisions to its rent arrears policy at a meeting this Wednesday.

The council’s Rent 1st Campaign promotes payments and offers support, advice and sets out the consequences if people do not pay their rent and fail to engage with the service.

At the beginning of the year, the Rent 1st Campaign introduced a new early intervention system to ensure cases of increasing arrears were dealt with quickly. The new system has a range of measures, including offering tenants more face-to-face contact with staff and the introduction of a cash collection pilot which has so far proved both popular and successful.

The council is also running monthly welfare rights surgeries in areas outside Perth and has a member of the Welfare Rights Team working in the new Letham Housing Office one day per week.

The council is also working in partnership with Perth and Kinross Credit Union to provide tenants with budget cards, known as Cred-E-Cards, to help tenants manage their rent payments more effectively.

Councillor Kate Howie, vice convener of Perth and Kinross Council’s housing and health committee, said: “It is extremely important that any council tenant who may be experiencing difficulties in paying their rent contacts their housing office as soon as possible. Council staff are trained to support tenants in this respect but if housing officers don’t know then they can’t help. The worst thing to do is to wait until a large debt has built up.

“The council’s housing service will do all it can to help tenants with difficulties paying their rent, however if any tenant continues to ignore attempts to contact them and fails maintain repayment arrangements,as a final resort, action will be taken to evict that tenant.

“Failure to pay rent breaks the tenancy agreement with the council and we must remember that every penny paid in rent goes towards improving the council’s housing stock, building new council houses and providing the best possible housing service. That is why it’s Rent 1st every time.”

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