Scottish Gas backs campaign to improve rights for renters



Scottish Gas calls to Make Renting RightScottish Gas has become the first company to support Shelter Scotland’s campaign calling for a fairer deal for renters.

The Make Renting Right campaign aims to give tenants and their families in the private rented sector long-term security in their homes. Campaign objectives include fairer tenancy agreements and an end to short-term leases. It forms part of Shelter Scotland’s wider drive to put an end to poor housing conditions.

Scottish Gas already has a five-year partnership with the charity which aims to improve a million homes in the sector across the UK. Now, as more families with children are turning to renting, it has signed up to this latest campaign.

Christine McGourty, managing director, Scottish Gas, said: “We are proud to support this campaign which will give renters the long term security they need. By raising standards and making rented homes safer, thousands of people in Scotland will benefit.

“This matters especially to families, who need stability so their children can go to local schools and they can build a support network near their home.”

The number of people renting private homes in Scotland has doubled in the last ten years to 312,000. Of these, more than 80,000 private lets now house families with children.

So far, 78 MSPs have supported the Make Renting Right campaign from across all political parties. Almost 2,000 members of the public have signed an online petition calling for reform.

Adam Lang, head of communications and policy at Shelter Scotland, said: “The support of Scottish Gas marks a milestone for the Make Renting Right campaign.

“Along with Scottish Gas, we want to see a private rented sector across Scotland that is fit for families and protects all tenants – a sector that provides long-term homes, not short-term housing.

“The benefits of reform in the private rented sector would not just be felt by tenants.  Landlords too would see a more constant income and more stable relationships with their tenants.

“That’s why we are asking people to support our campaign to reform the private rented sector and turn it into a place where the increasing numbers of people who rely on it can make a house a home and live with increased security and dignity.”

In 2012, 63 per cent of properties in the private rented sector failed the Scottish Housing Quality Standard. Figures show that 89 per cent of private rented stock suffered from some kind of disrepair; in 74 per cent of cases, this affected whether the property was structurally sound or protected from wind and rain.

The Make Renting Right campaign from Shelter Scotland coincides with the Scottish Government’s consultation on proposals to reform tenancies in the private rented sector and builds on the charity’s previous campaigns in the sector.

@shelterscotland

www.shelterscotland.org.uk

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