Help to tackle rent difficulties

A PROGRAMME is being set up to help tackle overdue rent and payment difficulties for council tenants in Waveney.Waveney District Council has drawn up a new rent arrears policy which will help to maximise the amount of money collected from tenants while ensuring that those who are having trouble paying are treated fairly and offered appropriate advice.

A PROGRAMME is being set up to help tackle overdue rent and payment difficulties for council tenants in Waveney.

Waveney District Council has drawn up a new rent arrears policy which will help to maximise the amount of money collected from tenants while ensuring that those who are having trouble paying are treated fairly and offered appropriate advice.

A report which will be presented to the council's housing scrutiny sub-committee on Tuesday outlines plans to improve the information about welfare and housing benefits which is given to new tenants moving into council-owned accommodation.

The report said: 'The council adopts a firm but fair approach to rent arrears recovery and will consider each case on its merits. It accepts that a tenant's personal circumstances may change and that this can sometimes make it difficult to pay the rent.


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'The policy and strategy for controlling rent arrears is to provide all tenants, at the earliest opportunity, with advice on benefits, inform tenants promptly of changes to their rent charges and make early personal contact with tenants whose accounts go into arrears.'

The new three-year policy is an extension of the council's existing guidelines which included the setting up of a Rent Action Team in September 2007 which allowed officers to make early evening visits in targeted areas to offer advice and help people struggling with repayments.

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The scheme was branded a success by the district's housing chiefs after figures showed that the amount of rent being collected increased from 77.7pc in 2006/7 to an average of 89.7pc from April to November 2008. Figures for 2009 are not yet available.

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