16:34 PM, 12th December 2011, About 12 years ago 17
Homeless charity Shelter is predicting thousands of tenants will skip their rents to pay for Christmas.
Renters are putting festive presents, food and drink before the costs of housing and risking their homes rather than spending within their means and protecting the roof over their heads.
The charity carried out the survey in Scotland and found one in 12 renters is ready to go into rent arrears over Christmas and the New Year.
Graeme Brown, the director of Shelter Scotland, said: “Too many people are risking their homes by missing or delaying rent and mortgage payments. With Christmas just around the corner, many can feel pressured to spend money they simply don’t have.
“Combined with the existing daily struggle and misery felt by thousands of families, the cost of the festive period could lead some to breaking point.
“The cost of housing is putting increasing pressure on day to day finances and forcing some families to ultimately risk their homes in order to pay for Christmas. As Scotland begins to feel the full impact of savage cuts to jobs and housing benefits, and as more people face even greater debt, the perfect storm is brewing for a rise in homelessness.
“We urge people to think very carefully before delaying rent or mortgage payments. It can seem like a quick fix, but can have long lasting implications.”
Meanwhile, banks and building societies blame Christmas debts on failing to budget and save.
On average, most people save around £423 for Christmas – with 30% putting money aside each month from the New Year.
Saving that amount means putting away £38 a month.
Zack Hocking, of The Co-operative Bank, said: “Christmas is one of the most expensive times of the year, and we know it can be difficult to get into the habit of putting money aside regularly.”