Clackmannanshire Citizens Advice Bureau receives funding for tenant housing advice
Clackmannanshire Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) has been awarded £38,710 of funding from the SafeDeposits Scotland Charitable Trust to deliver its Housing Advice and Mediation Service (HAMES) project over two years.
HAMES aims to assist 100 tenants per year to gain a better understanding of their rights and responsibilities in private tenancies. It will also offer guidance to landlords regarding their own obligations.
The project will provide budgeting guidance to tenants, including undertaking benefits checks to ensure individuals are claiming everything they are entitled to and helping them with applications. Mediation services will also be offered where disputes exist between landlords and tenants.
For landlords, workshops will be available to educate them on issues such as tenancy deposits, common repairs and safety repairs. It is hoped that the efforts will contribute to a reduction in evictions and disputes in the private rented sector (PRS).
A grant-giving charity, the SafeDeposits Scotland Charitable Trust was established to help improve Scotland’s PRS. It promotes and facilitates education, training and best practice within the sector by funding projects that provide tangible benefits to landlords, letting agents and tenants alike. The next closing date for applications is on August 13.
Clackmannanshire CAB will deliver the project working closely with statutory and third sector agencies to publicise the project, ensure referrals and maximise signposting. HAMES will be advertised through GP surgeries, community centres and through social media.
Jonny Miller, managing director at Clackmannanshire Citizens Advice Bureau, said: “Being awarded such a significant level of funding is testament to the potential of the HAMES project.
“The money will enable us to provide a specialist, dedicated advice service to both tenants and landlords within the PRS in Clackmannanshire. This is of particular importance given our experience, and evidence suggests that not everyone is fully aware of their legal rights and responsibilities.
“This project will work closely with both tenants and landlords to meet these obligations, while at the same time looking at early resolution of any issues or areas of dispute.”
John Duff, chairman of the SafeDeposits Scotland Charitable Trust, added: “A project educating tenants and landlords as to their rights and responsibilities, while at the same time reducing disputes needing to go to adjudications, is exactly the kind of initiative the SafeDeposits Scotland Charitable Trust was set up to support.
“The Trust is proud to have funded such a wide range of important projects that share our aims of making the PRS in Scotland fairer for all parties. I’d also encourage any organisation that exists to provide education in the PRS to apply for our next round of funding. The impact it can have on people’s lives should not be underestimated.”