COUNCIL tenants in Tamworth are being reminded to make sure they pay their rent on time over the Christmas period.
And they are being warned that they could lose their homes if they fail to pay and fall into arrears.
Tamworth Borough Council has launched its ‘Rent First’ campaign, offering help and advice to people who may be facing difficulties paying their rent over the festive period and encouraging them to make payment of their rent their top priority.
A Christmas card reminding tenants about the Rent First message is being sent to tenants who are in arrears with their rent. It was designed by pupils from Two Gates Primary School and carries the message “Pay the rent, then enjoy Christmas.”
The message is also being displayed inside and on the back of buses running in Tamworth, where it will be seen by thousands of people.
The main aim of the Rent First campaign is to make sure tenants are aware of all the ways they can pay their rent and to ensure that it is paid up to date over the Christmas period. It forms part of a larger campaign by Tamworth Borough Council and the CAB to help people budget properly for Christmas, not overspend and to pay bills on time.
Tamworth Borough Council Leader, Cllr Daniel Cook, said: “We want people to enjoy Christmas and the New Year but it is vital that they put their ‘rent first’. We’re not telling tenants to stop buying presents for their families and friends, but to make sure they budget for their rent payments as well. So far this year, sadly 32 families in Tamworth have been evicted because they did not pay their rent.”
He added: “Help is at hand for those who may be having difficulty paying their rent and we have dedicated staff on hand to offer advice. I would urge anyone who is having difficulties to call the Tenancy Sustainment team – please do not stick your head in the sand and risk court action or eviction.
“The message is clear – if you don’t pay your rent, you could end up losing your home.”
Anyone who is having difficulty in paying the rent is being urged to call the Tenant Sustainment team on 01827 709709 or the Housing Advice team on 01827 709459.
The Citizens Advice Bureau can also help people who are in debt or struggling to budget. They can be contacted on 01827 305952.