Campaigners descend on capital to Make Renting Right

Shelter ScotlandA campaign aimed at making Scotland’s growing private rented sector fit for families and fairer for all hits Edinburgh on Monday.

Shelter Scotland’s Make Renting Right campaign aims to raise awareness of and build public support for reforming the outdated private tenancy regime which sees too many households forced from pillar to post on short-term rental agreements.

The housing and homelessness charity has invited local politicians to sign up to the campaign and will encourage members of the public to also support Make Renting Right.

A chronic shortage of affordable social housing has driven more and more people into Scotland’s private rented sector, which is now home to 312,000 families and individuals, with more than 80,000 private lets now housing families with children. However, the sector’s outdated tenancy regime is not suited to providing a safe and secure environment for people to put down stable foundations in their communities.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 want to see a private rented sector in Edinburgh and across Scotland that is fit for families and protects all tenants – a sector that provides long-term homes, not short-term housing.

“Short-term tenancy agreements do not provide the stability and security that the more than 80,000 families with children living in the private rented sector need in order to live a settled life.

“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.”

Graeme Brown added: “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 benefits of reform would not just be felt by tenants, however. Landlords 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.
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