Claims housing officers sent an eviction notice to a tenant whose rent arrears have built up since the bedroom tax came in have been rubbished.
The SNP Group on Falkirk Council said this week the householder, from the Bainsford area, was a ‘victim’ of a Labour-led administration’s u-turn on a pledge no tenant would lose their home this year if they were struggling to pay the new charges.
In a statement, housing spokesman Councillor Steven Carleschi insisted she was not the only one to receive a letter threatening court action.
Councillor Carleschi said other tenants are facing hardship because the Labour-led administration is saying “one thing in public while doing the opposite behind the scenes.”
He maintained: “All of the cases of those being threatened with eviction from their homes who have approached the SNP are all honest people who had no history of non-payment before the introduction of the Westminster bedroom tax.
“Many of them had outstanding claims for discretionary housing payments the council failed to determine within the timescale causing distress and confusion. Labour has some explaining to do and should start with an apology to those who have received these threatening letters.”
Last night (Wednesday) however, Council leader Craig Martin, dismissed the idea. He said: “I have spoken to housing officers and can categorically confirm the arrears facing the tenant in question are not exclusively due to the impact of the bedroom tax. In addition we have had no engagement from the tenant that would allow us to justify not pursuing the debt in this manner.
“Our position is that , where tenants accrue arrears which are solely attributable to ‘size criteria’ and the council is satisfied the tenants are doing all that can be reasonably expected in order to avoid falling into arrears it will use all legitimate means to collect the rent that is due, except eviction.”