Journalist Peter Swindon writes in today’s Evening Times that Glasgow landlords are “bullying” tenants and failing to carry out basic repairs according to new research by Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS).Many tenants are living in “appalling” conditions and face intimidation and threats.
The majority who have issues in Glasgow live in Govanhill.The biggest problem is not getting a deposit back at the end of the tenancy, usually due to an absentee landlord or a landlord giving a fictitious name and address.
Conditions of actual properties is a major issue. Some are squalid like and dreadful – toilets that don’t flush, kitchen units that are hanging off the walls and fridges that don’t work. Vermin is another problem and repairs required to locks.
Overcrowding continues to be a major concern. If there are three unrelated people in a flat landlords have to register for multiple occupancy but that doesn’t always happen. Reports of landlords coming in on a weekly basis and raking around, or threatening to put tenants out in the street are common.
CAS consider this to be a form of bullying and the charity has called on the private rented sector to clean up its act, and urged tenants to stand up for their rights and challenge unacceptable landlord behaviour.
CAS Housing spokesman Patrick Hogan said: “The figures we are publishing today are a shocking insight into the worst corners of the private rented sector in Scotland. While most private landlords are responsible and doing right by their tenants, our evidence shows there are far too many who are not.
“In today’s economy many Scots can’t afford to buy their own home, and yet there is not enough affordable social housing for rent. So many find themselves in the private rented sector – often paying higher rents than they can easily afford. This makes it more important than ever that standards are maintained at an acceptable level.
Yet Scotland’s CAB advisers are seeing 24 cases every working day where lousy landlords are letting their tenants down. “The specific case evidence is even more shocking. We regularly see incidents of poor quality housing, dampness and condensation, poor electrical wiring and unsafe appliances not being repaired with landlords too often responding to complaints by harassing, threatening and bullying.”
Mr Hogan of CAB said: “We are calling on local authorities and the Scottish Government to re-double their efforts to monitor the private rented sector and crackdown on those who are giving it a bad name. We also call on all landlords to make sure they are doing right by their tenants, but we also have a message today for private sector tenants: make sure you know what your rights are, and don’t put up with unacceptable behaviour from your landlord.”
This article by journalist Peter Swindon concurs with reports that the Let’s Save Govanhill campaign have been given by many Govanhill tenants as they continue to exist in the squalid Govanhill ghetto.
It has also been confirmed to us that some reputable letting agents are no longer operating in the Govanhill area. This worrying trend can only leave the private rented sector to fall further into a spiral of decline within the area. Rachman style slum landlords will continue to operate with impunity as the reputable letting agents flee.
Let’s Save Govanhill campaigners will continue to demand that Scottish Government in partnership with Glasgow City Council declare regeneration status for Govanhill. They will also continue to demand that all of Govanhill be declared an Enhanced Enforcement Area and that landlords be licensed.
For the full article written by Peter Swindon in Evening Times click on the link below: