Govan Law Centre’s PRS advice team introduces financial health service

HRHreportA private rented sector advice project set up by Govan Law Centre is now offering a financial health check to its clients.

Introduced in September 2016, the Private Rented Tenants Team provides a comprehensive, unique and dedicated service to tenants of private landlords in Glasgow.

Along with providing vulnerable tenants with their statutory rights and tackling unmet needs the project has a focus on financial inclusion and financial capability.

The team has now developed the Financial Health Report as a way to identify and tackle the complex mix of factors that affect tenancy sustainment and create barriers to financial stability.

The reports will provide tenants with:

  • a breakdown of their income by source and an analysis of their expenditure;
  • an insight into their household fuel use and an indication of whether they are suffering fuel poverty;
  • an analysis of their debts and monthly debt payments as a percentage of their net monthly income;
  • The reports will provide clients with an insight into their own financial circumstances, with recommendations on how they can maximise their finances and minimise their expenditure. It will enable clients to target those areas of expenditures that can produce real savings for them and recommend financial targets they should aim for to create more financially healthier lifestyles.

    Wendy Malloy, PRS Tenants Team co-ordinator/senior caseworker, told Scottish Housing News that the key to the success of the work with vulnerable tenants is to provide a holistic model of support which provides easy to understand, practicable and realistic solutions.

    She said: “We can already evidence that our Private Tenants Team is making a significant difference for tenants through our much needed service, which comprises of advice and representation around court action, housing, welfare benefits, financial inclusion and money and debt.

    “We have developed our Financial Health Check as a response to the increase in private tenants struggling to manage housing costs and suffering poverty. These problems can then have a negative impact on a tenant’s health and wellbeing and can lead to very poor housing conditions.

    “Also, with the impending introduction of the Private Housing (Tenancies) Scotland Act 2016, we expect to see massive changes that will impact on private tenants throughout Scotland. It is therefore vital that vulnerable tenants have access to essential legal and financial representation now and in the future.”

    Wendy added: “We have located our outreach services in key areas of the city so we are accessible to anyone who needs help and is having direct experience of financial hardship or landlord problems. Anyone affected in this way should contact the Private Tenants Team.”

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