Thursday 4 February 2016

Scottish Government fail Scotland’s private sector tenants

Scottish private sector tenants are to be given less security of tenure than they enjoyed in Scotland under Mrs Thatcher’s Government from 1988.  The Scottish Government’s response to the Parliament’s ICI Committee report on the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill - published today[1] – will guarantee landlords an à la carte menu of mandatory eviction grounds to get rid of tenants.

The stated aim of the Bill was to provide “a clearer and simpler tenancy regime for the modern private rented sector which is fit for purpose”.  The Parliament’s Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee had asked the Government to give more thought to which eviction grounds should be mandatory and how much discretion should be given to the new Housing Tribunal in deciding whether to evict or not.

The Scottish Government has responded by endorsing its own view that landlords should be able to evict tenants at will. It has refused to budge on giving landlords a guaranteed right to remove a tenant from his or her home whenever they intend to sell, refurbish, move a member of their family in, or use the property for non-residential use.

On behalf of Govan Law Centre, Mike Dailly, Solicitor Advocate said:  “The Scottish Government are determined to give Scottish private tenants a zero hours contract on their home with no security of tenure in practice. This will create a moral hazard in the same way we had bankers spending other people’s money without a care in the world. Private landlords will be able to run their businesses in the comfortable knowledge that taxpayers will bail them out. Landlords will be entitled to remove their tenant out at will, with local authorities picking up the tab under homelessness law. It’s truly shameful, unjust and regressive”.

“What we will see in Scotland is evictions where landlords ‘intend’ to move in a member of their family, put the property on the market for sale, refurbish or stop letting. These intentions will guarantee the automatic eviction of tenants, but we all know most of these intentions will never materialise. In over twenty years as a housing law practitioner I have never seen such badly drafted, ill-advised and unjust grounds of eviction in legislation”.

“We had really hoped the Scottish Government would have listened to the advice of the Scottish Parliament’s Committee, which had carefully considered evidence from a wide range of tenant bodies, homelessness charities and advice agencies, and cautioned against these mandatory grounds of eviction. Sadly they have sided with the interests of private landlords; and of which many elected members are”.


GLC recruitment: Vulnerable Client Caseworker, Prevention of Homelessness Project

Vacancy for a Vulnerable Client Caseworker at Govan Law Centre

Salary: £23,869
Salary info: 34 hours per week. Funded till 2018 continuing funding being sourced.
Status: Full time
Closing date: 12/02/16
Location: Glasgow
The role:  Govan Law Centre Prevention of Homelessness Project require a Vulnerable Client Caseworker to provide; Housing and Homelessness rights advice, representation and advocacy in terms of current Housing and Homelessness Law and Policy and in terms of section 11 of the Homelessness etc (Scotland) Act 2003.
Provide housing advice across all tenures; Social Rented, Owner Occupied & Private Rented Sector, and to people experiencing, or at risk of Homelessness. Work with and provide support to vulnerable individuals and groups. Based in Govan Law Centre and outreach throughout Glasgow.  Govan law centre (GLC) is an independent, charitable community controlled law centre operating in Scotland.
Please send or email CV and Covering Letter to:
Alistair Sharp
Senior Coordinator/Manager POHP, Govan Law Centre, Unit 4, 18-20 Orkney Street,
Glasgow G51 2BZ
Closing Date: 4pm Friday 12th February 2016
Telephone 0141 440 2503
Please note that if you have not received a response from Govan Law Centre by Friday 19th February 2016 then you have been not been successful on this occasion.