Get help before you are up to your ears in housing arrears

East Dunbartonshire Council is reminding tenants how important it is for them to pay their rent on time, and how it is used to pay for vital services.

The move comes at the start of a council advertising campaign aimed at tackling the issue of rent arrears.

The campaign, which poses the question ‘Up to your ears in rent arrears?’, will run on local buses and newspapers over the next four weeks.

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East Dunbartonshire Council’s convener of neighbourhood services, Councillor Stewart MacDonald, said: “We want tenants to get in touch with us before they get behind in their rental payments.

“Our Housing Officers are here to help in any way they can.”

“Your rent pays for home improvements - paying your rent helps us provide a fully funded housing repairs service.

“Rental income also allows us to continue to invest in tenants’ homes through the Capital Works Programme.

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“This means tenants can benefit from having a programme of improvement works which includes new kitchens, bathrooms, central heating, double glazed windows and central heating.

“As well as looking better, tenants also benefit financially when their homes are more energy efficient.”

From 2013-2015 East Dunbartonshire Council spent £9.56m on improvements to tenants’ homes, including 754 new doors and windows, 606 new heating systems, and 589 homes rewired.

Over the same period there were also 342 new bathrooms, 213 new roofs, 191 new heating systems and 166 new kitchens installed.

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Councillor MacDonald added: “Rent arrears is not just a problem for the council but also for our tenants if we do not have the funds in future to invest, just like the above in their homes.

“I would urge anyone who is experiencing difficulty in paying their rent to get in touch with their Housing Officer – we are here to help.

“We can also help those with multiple debt issues by referring on to other agencies.”

Tenants who are having difficulty paying their bills should call 0300 123 4510 and ask to speak to the local housing officer.