We want all our tenants to feel secure in their homes and we certainly don’t want them to find themselves at risk of homelessness. On this page, we have some important information about how you can avoid that risk.

Sustaining your Tenancy

We have introduced a New Tenant and Tenant Support policy which outlines the housing support the Association can provide to new and existing tenants.  This includes a 'Knowing the needs of our tenants' assessment which will help to identify what support we can provide but also advise tenants of other assistance that may be available.  A Support and Advice for Hjaltland Tenants leaflet has also been produced.  Please contact the office if you would like further information.

We also have some advice about keeping energy costs down and about the need for insurance.

Keeping to your tenancy agreement

If you’re one of our tenants, you have a tenancy agreement. It sets out the things you need to do in order to maintain your side of the agreement. These include:

  • Keeping up your rent payments
  • Looking after the house and garden
  • Avoiding disturbance to neighbours

If you don’t keep to your side of the agreement, our first step will always be to discuss the circumstances with you to find a solution. For example, if you are finding it difficult to maintain the garden, it may be possible to get help with grass-cutting, either from one of the firms that do this or by borrowing equipment from a family member or neighbour.

Under the tenancy agreement, some repair and maintenance work is your responsibility. It’s important that you do it in order to avoid being re-charged if a contractor has to be called in. Our Tenant’s Handbook has more advice about this.

If you are in difficulty, please tell us as soon as you can. We’ll do our best to help. For example, we can offer you advice about how to deal with debt. Staff are here to help you and we have an outreach worker who can assist you with budgeting and developing an effective payment plan. There are other organisations that can assist you too and some of these are detailed in our debt advice leaflet. You can also contact the Shetland Citizen’s Advice Bureau for support.

Getting into debt can build up stress, making it even more difficult to cope. If that happens, you might want to speak to someone at the local charity Mind Your Head.

Please remember that our Association is totally dependent upon its rental income and therefore cannot tolerate rent arrears. Rent arrears are a cost to the Association and therefore ultimately a cost to tenants. Committee Members, staff and tenants all have an interest in seeing arrears minimised. We have a downloadable copy of our Arrears Policy.

If we can’t agree…

Occasionally, we can’t come to an agreement about the problem. If, for example, your rent arrears keep increasing, or your family’s behaviour continues to cause serious concern, we may have no option but to start the process that leads to your eviction from the property.  

There is a legal procedure for this which is detailed in our repossession policy. There is useful information on the Shelter website about this issue. You can also talk things over with the Shetland Citizen’s Advice Bureau. However, we strongly advise you to obtain your own legal advice.

There are several steps in the eviction process and we would keep you informed at every stage.

If you are evicted…

If we evict you, you may be homeless. If you are potentially homeless, you can ask Shetland Islands Council to assess your case and they may offer you accommodation. However, if they decide that you are intentionally homeless, because you’ve deliberately failed to keep up your rent payments for example, they’re not obliged to house you. Further information about homelessness is available on the Shelter website or by contacting the Shetland Islands Council Housing Service.