Glasgow City Council backs renting reform campaign
The council unanimously 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 Glasgow, almost 50,000 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 now calling the private rented sector home. Of these, more than 80,000 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According to Shelter Scotland, private renting operates under an outdated tenancy regime that is not suited to providing a safe and secure environment for people to put down stable foundations in their communities.
Adam Lang, head of communications and policy at Shelter Scotland, said: “We are pleased that Glasgow City 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.”
Data from the Scottish Government shows that average rents in Greater Glasgow have increased by 11.1 per cent in the last four years with an average rent for a two bedroom property currently standing at £626 per month.
Councillor Helen Stephen, who proposed the motion said: “I was pleased to bring Shelter Scotland’s Make Renting Right campaign to the Council, and I am glad it has support of councillors across the city. With nearly 50,000 people living in the private rented sector, it is an important issue for Glasgow.
“For our young people, students, families and all of those who are choosing to make the private rented sector their homes, transformational and fair change is required.
“Glaswegians will be eagerly anticipating the upcoming Government legislation on this much-needed reform.”
Adam Lang added: “The benefits of reform in the private rented sector would not just be felt by tenants. Landlords in Glasgow 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
Meanwhile one of the UK’s leading house builders has donated almost £19,000 to the charity – enough to help thousands of families and individuals across Scotland through its free national helpline.
Barratt Homes’ West Scotland division raised money for the charity during its annual gathering of contractors and suppliers. £18,650 was raised on the night.
Last year 36,457 households made homeless applications to their local council in Scotland while, 150,500 families and individuals are on the waiting list for a home to call their own.