ANGUS Council’s rent arrears policies are driving down the amount of money owed by tenants.
An update report considered by the council’s neighbourhood services committee on Thursday highlighted that current rent arrears continue to reduce and now sit at 7.16 per cent, a fall from the previously reported 7.83 per cent.
In the past three months, the authority has taken 10,115 actions to pursue rent arrears, including more than 3,000 visits to tenants or former tenants.
Housing spokesperson Councillor Jim Millar said: “We remain fully committed to giving all the help and advice available to those tenants who are having difficulty paying their rent.
“However, we are also making it clear that paying rent is a priority and failure to keep up payments will result in sanctions, including the ultimate one of eviction.
“It is good to see that our ongoing work to reduce rent arrears is paying dividends and this is a further welcome fall in the level of money owed. “
Commenting on an early intervention scheme the council is piloting councillor Millar said: “Although we’ve seen progress in some areas there has been a rise in former tenants’ arrears and we are seeing houses being abandoned rather than efforts being made to pay.
“To address this we are piloting an early intervention scheme in Forfar, where we are visiting people who have just ended their tenancies to make sure that they pay their outstanding debts before moving elsewhere.”
The committee agreed to note the current performance and progress in pursuing serious arrears and it was also agreed that future rents arrears performance would be reported quarterly.