tenants could be put at risk of homelessness after funding for a scheme that provides free solicitors in eviction court cases was axed, say legal experts.
The Scottish Legal Aid Board ended its funding for the In-Court Eviction Helpdesk Service run by Renfrewshire Law Centre at Paisley Sheriff Court.
The service, which has been running since 2001, has helped thousands of tenants at one of Scotland's busiest courts.
Without it, tenants at risk of eviction face going before a sheriff to dispute often complex legal matters with no representation.
Jon Kiddie, Principal Solicitor at Renfrewshire Law Centre, has written to Renfrewshire Council asking it to intervene.
Mr Kiddie said: "The centre is a legal charity that has operated a defended eviction helpdesk at Paisley Sheriff Court since 2001. Without it these tenants would have nowhere else to turn.
"The board decided to turn down the Law Centre's application for continuation of funding for the helpdesk beyond September.
"The board also turned down the centre's request for the helpdesk's extension to include help for homeowners and their families facing homelessness through mortgage arrears. The board had £7million to allocate. The Law Centre sought £116,000 over three years.
"The board has admitted it has not allocated any funding to Renfrewshire at all beyond September. In effect, it has turned its back on Renfrewshire.
"The Law Centre has grave concerns about the likely impact of the board's decision for Renfrewshire, for the individuals and families who rely on the helpdesk, and for the public at large who, ultimately, will have to bear the cost of families being made homeless unnecessarily."
Mark Macmillan, leader of Renfrewshire Council, has raised the matter with the Scottish Legal Aid Board and Scottish Justice Minister Kenny McAskill.
Mr Macmillan said: "At a time when we know there is going to be an increased need for this work, it is short-sighted to see this service cut."
A Scottish Legal Aid Board spokeswoman said: "The project agreement is due to come to an end on September 30. Renfrewshire Law Centre was aware of the basis of the funding for the project and that it was time limited.
"The revised priorities for the Board's new programme were agreed with the Scottish Government and the Money Advice Service.
"By linking people to money advice, either funded by us in the programme or already existing services, we hope to be able to offer people at risk of repossession sustainable solutions to their problems.
"The Board's priority is ensuring that people are able to access such assistance not only to help them avoid eviction or repossession but also to help them deal with the underlying debt problems that have led to that point.
"We are exploring with others the extent of unmet need for housing and debt services in Renfrewshire and whether an alternative approach could be funded under the programme."