A TENANTS’ union has criticised a social landlord for “aggressive” rent arrears demands – saying it is flouting a government-imposed ban on evictions.

One Cube tenant received a letter demanding full payment of arrears of more than £400 and is warned in the letter: “If you don’t pay or respond within seven days we will recommend that your landlord starts legal action to recover your property.”

In March, the Scottish Government announced a six-month ban on evictions from social and private rented sector accommodation as part of emergency coronavirus legislation.

In response, Cube said it would not evict anyone who falls into arrears as a result of the pandemic.

The housing group has also faced criticism for text messages sent to tenants whom Wyndford Tenants Union claims are not actually in arrears.

James Roberts, resident and branch secretary of WTU, said: “Our issue is that there is still an eviction ban in place. 

“When challenged on the text messages, Cube said that it was legitimate for those text messages to go out because those people are not ahead in their rent.

“They said if you are not a month ahead in your rent then as far as they are concerned you deserve to get an arrears warning.”

The union claims Cube has refused to meet to discuss the concerns which also include failing to re-instate close cleaning at maisonette owner-occupied flats in the Wyndford area.

A Cube spokesman said: “We do not evict anyone who falls into arrears as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

“Only tenants who repeatedly don’t pay rent, have defaulted on an agreed repayment plan and repeatedly failed to engage with us would receive a letter about further action being taken. 

“We urge any tenant in difficulty to get in touch. The sooner they talk to us, the quicker we can help.

“Our housing officers have been supporting thousands of people through these challenging times. This includes everything from arranging affordable payment plans to help with benefits, Universal Credit, cutting fuel bills and delivering free emergency food parcels and household essentials.

“Polite, professional text messages simply remind tenants whose rent is due that their housing officer is there to help. 

“The safety of customers and staff is our top priority and we will resume close cleaning as soon as government guidance allows.”