Social tenants Christmas eviction warning
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities
Opinion: Does social housing need a tougher approach to rent collection?Image: Rent arrears via Shutterstock
A housing association has told its tenants that those who are up to date with their rent will get two 'rent free' weeks this Christmas - but those behind on their payments are being warned they could face eviction.
Chorley Community Housing has announced that rent payments will not be due for the weeks commencing 23 and 30 December from fully paid up tenants.
However, residents in arrears are being urged to continue paying their rent or risk losing their homes.
The social landlord has evicted 28 families in the last 12 months for failing to pay their rent.
"The two rent free weeks at Christmas are very popular with tenants as it means that those people who pay their rent promptly have some spare cash at Christmas to spend on their families. But for tenants in arrears with their rent it is very important that they understand that not paying is not an option," said Chorley's operations director, Kimberley Clarke.
Tenants evicted for non-payment of rent in the last year owed on average just under £2,500. CCH say that failure to make regular rent payments, and spending money on Christmas treats instead of household bills, can make a difficult financial situation much worse.
Ms Clarke added: "In the past 12 months we have evicted 28 families in Chorley who failed to keep up to date with their rent and if tenants do not make paying the rent a priority then they can expect to face the consequences.
"Our advice, if you cannot make a rent payment, is to get in touch to agree a realistic payment plan with us. Don’t ignore the problem because it won’t go away. The Association employs money advisors who can review your finances to ensure you are managing your money and claiming all benefits you are entitled to. This is a free service and if you want to arrange an appointment please call us as soon as possible."