Sunday 29 March 2015

Govan Law Centre endorses Living Rent campaign and calls for real rights for Scotland's private rented sector tenants

Govan Law Centre's Board of Trustees have agreed to endorse and support the Living Rent campaign in Scotland.

The campaign seeks proper fair rent controls in Scotland's private rented sector (PRS), as well as security of tenure for tenants in that sector.

Govan Law Centre (GLC) is deeply concerned that the greatest rise in 'severe' and 'extreme poverty' in Scotland is amongst PRS tenants.  While the latest annual figures show that severe poverty in other housing tenures have fallen in Scotland, the number in poverty in the PRS rose by 140,000.

Housing costs now amount on average to 24 per cent of the income of private renters - compared with 20 per cent a decade ago - and in comparison to 18 per cent of social renters’ income and 11 per cent for owner-occupiers with a mortgage.

GLC's Principal Solicitor, Mike Dailly, set out our calls for  progressive law reform and regulatory change in Scotland at the launch of the Glasgow Living Rent campaign at the CCA in Glasgow on Saturday 28 March 2015.  Mike's speech is available (as a PDF) here

Private sector tenants need meaningful legal rights. The current landlord registration schemes needs revamped and strengthened. We need to remove the bad landlords and letting agencies from the register. 

We need a national strategy and co-ordination of enforcement. Proactive enforcement with legal teeth. 

GLC believes we need a Scotland-wide PRS inspectorate with full regulatory powers to set a proper standard of good practice, with the power to prosecute landlords and letting agencies across the country. 

We need a robust statutory mechanism to set rents at a fair and reasonable level. A mechanism that is practical and works for tenants. And most importantly, we need genuine security of tenure for PRS tenants.

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