Council Housing: Tenants' Rights

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 11th March 2009.

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Photo of Paul Burstow Paul Burstow Shadow Chief Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the effect on a local authority tenants' risk of eviction of the practice of including utility bills in rent for the purposes of claiming rent arrears; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Iain Wright Iain Wright Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Communities and Local Government)

The Department has not made an assessment of whether the inclusion of utilities within rent payments may increase the risk of eviction. Tenancy agreements should make clear what services are included within the rent.

CLG have issued guidance which makes clear we expect social landlords to maintain and sustain tenancies wherever possible, focusing on preventative approaches rather than eviction. The basic principles underpinning effective arrears management are well established but in these difficult economic times they become even more important.

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