A housing association has been attacked as ‘insensitive’ after it sent Christmas cards to its tenants containing a notice about how far behind they are with their rent.

MailOnline reports that Bolton at Home sent the cards which warned their tenants against over indulging over the Christmas period and ensure their rent is paid.

The housing association apologised to any tenants who felt offended by the notices, but said they were just trying to ensure compliance with this ‘gentle approach’.

One outraged tenant told the Bolton News: ‘When the card came through the door, I thought how nice it was for Bolton at Home to wish me season’s greetings.

‘But when I opened it to see a reminder of my arrears and a warning about overspending at Christmas I was mortified and really angry. I found it extremely patronising.

‘I felt pre-judged. I know what level of arrears I am in. It is under £150 and I am chipping away at it.

‘There was just no need for this because they send us formal reminders every 12 weeks.XMAS CARD 1

‘It is not an easy time of year for a lot of people and I just think the way this was done could push people over the edge.’

Bolton at Home chief executive Jon Lord defended the use of seasonal cards to warn against spending recklessly over the festive period. ‘We have sent these cards out for about four years and the comments we have had back suggested that people preferred this approach at this time of year compared to a heavy arrears letter.

‘I fully accept that it could be taken both ways, but it is certainly not designed to offend anyone and if that has happened then I apologise.

‘There is no easy way to do this but this is the first time we have had complaints about the Christmas cards and we will XMAS CARD 2certainly take them on board.’

Mr Lord admitted that he has received a number of complaints that some of the cards had been sent out in unsealed envelopes. He added that it was not his intention to offend anyone during the holiday period.

Bolton at Home is a registered charity which owns and manages more than 18,000 homes in the Bolton council area.

Source: Daily Mail

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