Initiative to support private tenants in Scotland launched

By staff writers
30 Dec 2013

A Glasgow MSP has launched a new website to campaign for better standards in privately rented accommodation in Scotland.

Patrick Harvie, a Green MSP and co-convenor of the party, is calling for private tenants across the country to use the website share their experiences of renting.

He has promised to push for strong new measures in the upcoming Scottish Government Housing Bill.

The initiative is being backed by independent MSPs like Jean Urquhart, Margo MacDonald and John Finnie, who often cooperate with the Greens.

A recent report from Letting Web has highlighted the pressure that a lack of supply in the private rented sector is having on rents in Scotland.

The average rent for a one bedroom flat is up 5.1 per cent against last year, during a time when wages have remained stagnant for many. This shows how important it is that the Scottish Government take action to make sure the private rented sector is affordable, say housing activists.

The new website covers five main themes promoting bolder or faster action on security of lease, the cost of renting, energy efficiency standards, eviction and harassment and transparent information about landlords and letting agents.

Mr Harvie explained: “The growing number of private tenants in Scotland deserve a better deal. There is a lot of talk about a cost of living crisis but for many people the rising cost of rent is by far the biggest expense they face.

"Short and insecure leases lead to constant upheaval and can undermine communities, so we need to tip the balance of power more in favour of responsible tenants.

“I hope this website will encourage more private tenants to share their experiences and play a part in demanding a better deal from those who make the rules. I look forward to pressing the Scottish Government to go further in their Housing Bill in the new year.”

* Visit the site here: www.rentrights.org

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