Blog: Rent controls, conditions and energy efficiency in the private rented sector: if you’re a private tenant, have your say now

PRS-Conversation-Cafe-FB-post-2Lisa Glass, a policy officer at Shelter Scotland, urges tenants to have their say on issues affecting the private rented sector.

Are you a private tenant?

  • Do you feel heating your home and any other fuel use costs you too much?
  • Do you wish your home was better insulated/had a better central heating system/was less draughty?
  • Do you think your landlord should have to improve the energy efficiency of your home? Or not?
  • Do you think your landlord should have to provide you with a cooker, fridge and freezer?
  • Should your landlord have to insulate your home to protect from noise from your neighbours?
  • At Shelter Scotland, we support people with these issues every day – filling out forms for community care grants to cover the costs of a freezer for a tenant, maximising income for families, applying for Warm Home Discount to help towards fuel bills…

    But are there more universal, long term solutions to these problems? The Scottish Government are considering putting into place new standards on energy efficiency, which will involve landlords having to make improvements to the most inefficient homes over time to make them warmer and cheaper to heat and run. They’re also looking at making changes to the repairing standard that all properties in the private rented sector have to meet, including how much storage space there should be for food in kitchens. But what is lacking is your voice. We want to hear from private tenants, to gather your experiences and what you think about the Government’s proposals and how they will affect you – for better or for worse.

    We’re also gathering the views of private tenants on rent controls. From the end of 2017, local authorities will be able to apply to create Rent Pressure Zones within their local authority area. Within these Rent Pressure Zones, rent increases, but not initial rents at the start of a tenancy, will be restricted. Local authorities will have to assess the impact of rent increases on tenants and talk to tenants in the area. We want to know, how do you think local authorities should consult tenants? How should your local authority get in touch with you and other tenants to keep them updated?

    • Join us in Glasgow on 1stJune and in Edinburgh on 6th June to chat about all of the above. There’s no need to register, and no need for any prior knowledge – we just want your experience as a private tenant (now or in the past!). Drop in at any point from 5-8pm and look for the red Shelter Scotland tops!
    • If face to face doesn’t work for you:
      • complete our online survey on improving the energy efficiency of private rented homes by Wednesday 14th June
      • arrange a phone chat by Wednesday 7thJune. Email Nora on if you want to take part.
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