City of Edinburgh Council backs renting reform campaign
The City of Edinburgh Council has passed a motion in support of a campaign calling for reform of the private rented sector.
The council signed up to support Shelter Scotland’s Make Renting Right campaign which aims to make Scotland’s growing private rented sector fit for families and fairer for all.
In Edinburgh, around 59,000 households rent privately.
Across Scotland a chronic shortage of affordable housing has led to a substantial growth in private renting, with 312,000 families and individuals calling the private rented sector home. Of these, more than 80,000 private lets now house families with children.
According to Shelter Scotland, private renting operates under an outdated tenancy regime that is not suited to providing a safe and secure environment for people to put down stable foundations in their communities.
Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland, said: “We are pleased that the City of Edinburgh Council has joined our calls for a better private rented sector for tenants and landlords.
“Along with the council, we want to see a private rented sector that is fit for families and protects all tenants – a sector that provides long-term homes, not short-term housing.
“Too often we hear of people being moved on, evicted or rents increased unreasonably, forcing people into the disruptive cycle of having to move house - every six months in some cases - preventing them from ever being able to put down strong roots and being part of a community.
“In the 21st century, we need a private rented sector that is modern, stable, flexible, predictable and fair for those individuals and families that call it home.”
The campaign complements existing work between the council and private landlords, which includes giving advice about what they must do by law, and how they can resolve problems with tenants. They are also legally required to register with the local authority by law and apply and comply with specific licences.
Councillor Andrew Burns, leader of the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “The council has given its full backing to Making Rent Right because we are committed to housing people in high quality and affordable homes, which is a vital step in our battle against poverty. Renters are entitled to be treated fairly and while the majority of landlords do so, too many people are still experiencing the opposite. This campaign is a great step towards protecting them.”
Councillor Sandy Howat, deputy leader of the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “We are delighted to support such an important and worthwhile campaign. Thousands of people rent in this city for many reasons, with many of them doing so by choice, and ensuring that they can do so safely and at a fair price is vital. The Capital Coalition is committed to providing affordable homes and will continue to work closely with our partners in order to do so.”
Graeme Brown added: “The benefits of reform in the private rented sector would not just be felt by tenants. Landlords in Edinburgh and across Scotland too would see a more constant and predictable income with less downtime between rents and a more stable relationships with their tenants.
“That’s why we are asking people to support our campaign to positively 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.”
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.
Shelter Scotland’s key asks for reforming the sector include:
- a modern tenancy agreement that gives both tenants and landlords security
- more stability for people wanting to make rented housing their home
- flexibility for people who want to stay in their rented home to do so for as long as they want
- a fair system for sorting out renting problems when they occur
- predictable rents for tenants and landlords