Rent refusal could lead to court

A NEW rent policy established by East Renfrewshire council, could mean more chance of court action for locals refusing to pay.

The collection of rent arrears owed to the council will be strengthened thanks to a new policy agreed by the council’s cabinet this week.

Tenants getting into arrears will now have to expect expect more home visits instead of just letters, while council officers will be stricter at enforcing guidelines with any tenant refuses to engage with the council.

And that could spell court action.

ERC’s council leader Jim Fletcher said: “For a small minority of tenants who get regularly into arrears and refuse to actively engage with us until legal action takes place, we will need to be tougher.

“During these difficult financial times many families are struggling and it is right that we offer as much help and support as we can.

“For those that refuse to get involved until it’s at a legal stage, we will need to ensure action is taken. Rent is a payment for the housing we provide but it is also an investment in the housing stock we have.

“Every pound of uncollected rent is a pound we can use to improve the housing in our area.”

East Renfrewshire residents can access free financial advice by phoning freephone 0800 052 1023 or emailing moneyadvice@eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk

ERC’s rent arrears are above the Scottish average, but have dropped from a high of 9.4% to the current all-time council low of 6.6%.