Glasgow law centre in private rental reform bid
Govan Law Centre has launched a campaign which it hopes will give a voice to people in the private rent sector and lead to reforms.
Staff from the service which provides free legal support are holding street stalls across the city as part of the lottery-funded research project, and hope tenants who have had problems with landlords will come forward and tell their story.
Govan Law Centre’s principal solicitor Mike Dailly said: “We are holding street stalls across Glasgow to interview hundreds of private tenants about their housing needs and will follow up these with in-depth interviews.
“This project arose from the fact our solicitors were seeing more and more clients who live in the private sector who were being made homeless.
“We started to see a picture that there are two different types of a private rented sector.
“Tenants pay high rents but for substandard accommodation often because landlords know they are stuck and have nowhere else to go.
“There is no real competitive rental market for them.
“We have families who have come home to find they have been locked out of their home, people who complain about repairs not being done and then get a visit from agents to tell them to leave the property.”
It is hoped the project will form the basis for reform of the private rent sector, which has doubled in size in the last decade.
Mike Dailly added: “More and more the law is becoming weighted on the side of landlords.
“Tenants often believe there is little they can do if their landlord increases the rent, or decides they want the property back.
“As a consequence more and more of our homeless clients are coming from private rented accommodation.
“Govan Law Centre will use its research to ascertain the needs of private sector tenants and work out what can be done to best meet those needs.”