Festive rent arrears campaign launched

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CHILDREN have created Christmas cards which will be sent to Sheffield council tenants reminding them to clear their arrears over Christmas - and be in with a chance to win £250 of shopping vouchers.

Sheffield Homes is urging people to help reduce their debts by continuing to pay rent over the festive period, which are traditionally rent-free.

Customers who have a clear rent account or have signed up to a repayment agreement to clear their arrears by January 1 will be entered into a free prize draw.

The draw is part of a campaign which highlights the need for customers to keep up with rent payments during the traditional two rent-free weeks which run from Monday December 19 and help clear or significantly reduce arrears.

Sheffield Homes is using other ways to get the message across including eye-catching Christmas cards, posters, email alerts and advertising on the website.

Children from Brushes and Arbourthorne TARAs have helped design images for the campaign, which feature a child’s drawing of a house, family and Christmas tree, coupled with the strap line ‘Your Home’s Important. Protect It. Please use the rent free weeks to clear your arrears’.

Maxine Stavrianakos, Sheffield Homes head of income management, said: “We understand Christmas can be a very demanding time financially.

“However we want to stress to those customers in arrears the importance of continuing to make rent payments and the potential consequences of not doing so.

“Our staff are available to give advice and assistance and to make realistic and affordable payment arrangements. However we will move swiftly to recover rent from those who can afford to pay and do not, which may ultimately lead to re-possession of their home.”

Every tenant in arrears will be contacted with details of the draw and reminded to continue to make payments over Christmas. Customers in financial difficulties will be urged to get in touch with Sheffield Homes.

n For further information about the draw or to talk to someone about rent payments contact the call centres on 0114 293 0000 or 0114 205 3333.