Edinburgh landlord charges tenants 50p for shower



A landlord in Edinburgh is advertising single rooms to rent with pre-paid electricity meters charging tenants 50p to use the shower

The single rooms are available to rent in two properties in the Marchmont and Meadows area of the capital, with the landlord advertising single rooms sharing with up to seven other people.

Individual electricity meters can be seen on the bedroom walls in photographs advertising the rooms online.

The advert for one property reads: “Shared kitchen and two bathrooms with showers. Pay as you go for electricity Coins 50ps for showers, cooking. £1 coins in room. Average around £15/20 per month on electricity.”

It is not known how long a tenant would have power after putting £1 in the meter.

When contacted by Edinburgh Live earlier this week, the landlord, Amanda, confirmed the set-up but said there was “no students” living there. She had not responded by the time of publication when offered a chance to respond in full.

Several rooms are listed by the landlord in the HMO properties, and when Edinburgh Live visited one of the properties no one was present.

One of the rooms, on Warrender Park Road, is currently advertised for £350 per month, not including the electricity charges, sharing with five others. Another property is also advertised for £350 per month sharing with seven others.

The advert reads: “Free WiFi, council tax, cleaner once per week, washing machine, hot water in all sinks”.

Naimh, a spokesperson for Living Rent, said: “This advert seeks to take advantage of renters who are not fully versed on housing law. The terms of the tenancy are simply unenforceable, leases in Scotland cannot state a specific end date.

“Charging 50 pence per room per shower suggests there is profit to be made from energy costs which is illegal. It states that there is ‘hot water in all sinks’ like this is a goodwill gesture rather than a legal requirement.

“The advert is alarming but not surprising. This is an indicator of the rental market in Scotland. It is why we need to come together as tenants to show that we will not stand for exploitative living conditions and poor quality housing.”

Lothian MSP Sarah Boyack said no landlord should take advantage of the economic uncertainty currently being felt. She said: “Edinburgh is a vibrant city that welcomes people from all walks of life.

“We know that there’s a shortage of high-quality residential accommodation in Edinburgh that is affordable, and that makes life incredibly tough for residents who are faced with massive rent increases and the risk of homelessness.

“No landlord should be taking advantage of the growing economic uncertainty many people have had to deal with and which has been magnified by this pandemic.

“Nobody should have to think twice about using the shower or cooker in their own home. That’s why it’s fundamental to have clarity and transparency when it comes to ‘all-inclusive rents’, particularly in the case of flat shares.

“We can’t allow Edinburgh to become a city that only few, affluent individuals can live in. Preventing people on housing benefits from even applying to rent a property, is unacceptable. Of course, landlords will have their own criteria in order to find the best tenant for their property but a blanket ban that doesn’t take into account individual circumstances, is not right. The phrase “no DSS” has been banned by certain property portals – more should follow.”

Tags: PRS



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