Now the housing and health committee has approved a revised policy, which will mean that any debts which have become “uneconomical to pursue” will be passed on to the sheriff court or a debt collection company.
Separately, the council is working with Perth and Kinross Credit Union to provide tenants with budget cards – known as Cred-E-Cards – to help them better manage their rent payments.
Councillor Kate Howie, vice convener of the 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 to 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.”