Tuesday 3 February 2015

Tenant's survey 'offensive to landlords' say Morrisons

We have to say Govan Law Centre are a bit disappointed with Morrisons. We sent the supermarket a letter to ask if we could carry out some important research. We just want to know how many people in our catchment area live in private rented accommodation, why they are living there, do they enjoy it, and what’s their general experience.

We are seeing many more families in housing need or even homeless who are living in private rented accommodation. We need to understand why?  We approached Morrisons Cardonald  ‘Community Champion’ asking if we could carry out the research within the entrance atrium in their Cardonald store. We intended to ask a few survey questions of shoppers. Just to seek the views of local people. This work will help Govan Law Centre meet the needs of vulnerable people.
Morrison’s in Cardonald is a perfect place to carry out this work. Its a popular shop and the surrounding area has a high level of private rented sector tenants. We were delighted that Shawlands Arcade, Govan Shopping Centre, Glasgow City Council, the Pearce Institute and others have all welcomed us.
But Morrison’s Cardonald Store spokeswoman said that although she ‘welcomed the idea of a tenants survey’ she ‘would not allow Govan Law Centre research to be carried out on Morrison’s premises because ‘the survey would be offensive to private landlords, and as a business Morrisons would not want to offend customers who were also private landlords’.
The questionnaire forms part of a more in depth piece of research which will help us improve our prevention of homelessness services. We would be delighted to hear the views of private landlords as well.
It’s vital that organisations like Govan Law Centre can carry out this type of work so that the voice of tenants is heard. Private landlords are already represented by the powerful lobby group the Scottish Association of Landlords. This organisation has the ear of the Scottish Government. Scotland has 330,000 private sector tenants who do not have any such lobby. We need to talk to them so we can better meet their needs.

Morrisons pride themselves in providing a 'fantastic service'.  On this occasion we don't believe this has happened.