HOUSING chiefs in South Tyneside have evicted 76 people from their homes for not paying their rent, according to latest figures.
The turfed-out tenants were all ejected from their South Tyneside Homes properties between last April and December for falling into arrears.
The figures, split into community area forum areas, show that the lowest number of evictions was carried out in Hebburn, with nine people forced to make new living arrangements.
In East Shields and Whitburn, 14 residents were asked to leave, and in West Shields, Cleadon and East Boldon that figure was 17.
The Jarrow, Boldon and South Shields Riverside wards had the highest amount of tenants evicted, at 18 apiece.
Some of those removed from their properties might now be homeless, and that is why eviction is only ever used as a last resort, council bosses say.
Brian Scott, acting managing director at South Tyneside Homes, said: “We strive to maintain tenancies and offer a great deal of support and guidance to tenants.
“This is reflected in the low number of evictions we deal with across South Tyneside.
“However, we still continue to use eviction as a final sanction where all other methods of engagement and arrears collection have failed.
“Notices are issued on tenants warning that possession proceedings may be taken if rent repayments are not maintained.
“Tenants evicted through rent action may be found to be intentionally homeless, and there would be no obligation upon the local authority to re-house them in these instances, with each individual case being considered on its own merits.”