THE news that rent arrears is an issue that is continuing to pose problems for Fife Council's Housing Service has got to be a worry for councillors.

Cowdenbeath Area Committee learned at the last meeting that almost 1,200 people were owing the service more than £250 in arrears.

But it was stressed the Housing Service is ready to work with tenants having problems meeting their rent requirements and that eviction was a complete last resort.

So while the figure of almost 1,200 for the Cowdenbeath area is a significant one there are some positive signs that the matter can be tackled.

Eviction is never something that they want to use and the vast majority of those in arrears have reached that stage because of matters which have got out of control.

It is not in any way a deliberate act for most tenants in difficulty, more a situation that has developed and it is right that the Housing Service should try to guide them back on track.

However, another worrying point raised last week by MP for Cardenden and Kinglassie, Peter Grant, was statistics that showed that Universal Credit was posing a few problems for some tenants and making them go into arrears.

It has to be hoped that things can be sorted out with UC because things can be hard enough for some tenants without the uncertainty of the new benefit system adding to it.

Over the next few months the Housing Service hope that the number of those in the Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area currently in arrears will drop and if they can get a few hundred off the figure councillors were told about it would be a very positive result.