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Council Rent Arrears (Scotland)


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Apologies if this is in the wrong place.

 

I was made homeless with my teenage son in January. Council put us up in temporary [expensive] accommodation. As I work I dont get housing benefit. Anyway, I quickly found new accommodation through private letting. I was in the council flat less than 2 weeks. I handed the keys back in, got a receipt and gave them my forwarding address to contact me regarding rent owed. This was 17 January 2013.

 

First letter I received was on 15 March 2013, stating I owed £660 and this was due to be paid in full within 7 days. I emailed them straight away saying I accept there is rent due however a) why has it taken 2 months to write to me and b) how has this figure been arrived at.

 

About 10 days later I get a letter stating I owe them £144 and needs paid in full. No explanation, basically the exact same letter as the previous one only the amount differing. I emailed them back again and said I will not be in a position to pay it in their timescale however I will pay the full amount by 24 April, (my payday) In the circumstances I did not think this unreasonable. To contact me after 2 months, to give me an outlandish bill for less than 2 weeks accommodation, I could have stayed in a hotel for that amount.

 

However I've just came home from work today to say the amount of £144 is still outstanding therefore it is now their intention of passing my account to sheriff officer.

 

Financially its been tough to set up home on our own (me and my son), I have no family alive and my sons mum takes nothing to do with him and contributes nothing, so I dont have that sort of money to hand however I didnt think it unreasonable given how long its taken the council to contact me to state payment will be made in what is roughly 2 weeks.

 

Their conduct seems so heavy handed and aggressive, their communication poor. They've never even explained why my bill was £660 now it's £144, surely that in itself is worthy of an explanation.

 

Can anyone offer any advice?

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The £660 will be the full monthly amount, when you challenged it, they've recalculated it and charged you for the days you actually lived there without bothering their backside to send an explanation. Ignore the letter and pay it off when you get paid, it'll take a few weeks before sheriff officers will be involved. If you want to pay by instalments, you could wait till the sheriff officer writes to you and you can come to an arrangement x

scotgal 

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Scotgal68, thanks for replying. I just couldnt believe they are so off hand. I'm not disputing I owe then rent but it's surely reasonable that I get an explanation when 2 wildly differing figures have claimed. I've had very little involvement with my local council in the past (Falkirk) but if this is anything to go by, they're a nightmare.

 

As much as a part of me thinks drag my feet and wait for sheriff officer involvement, I can do without the hassle and stress so will just stick to my initial plan.

 

Thanks again

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Hi

 

Could you please just clarify was it just the council itself or was it the council housing who had been responding to you?

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I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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