Shelter Scotland says the new Private Rented Housing Bill which has been published today [Tuesday] is a welcome step in the right direction.
One of the Bill’s principal aims is to give local authorities greater powers to root out rogue landlords by strengthening the system of landlord registration and introducing greater penalties for landlords evading registration.
Significantly for tenants, the Bill will introduce a mandatory pre-tenancy information pack aimed at raising awareness of rights and responsibilities among tenants as well as providing them with the vital information they need to start a tenancy.
Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland the housing and homelessness charity, said:
“Shelter Scotland welcomes this Bill which we see as the first step on the road to reforming the private rented sector – but there is still a long way to go. As a member of the Scottish Government’s Private Rented Sector Strategy Group, we will continue to work with other stakeholders to develop proposals to create a positive and flourishing private rented sector by enhancing tenants’ rights, improving regulation and encouraging greater investment.
“One section of the Bill we are concerned about contains measures to tackle overcrowding. In it, Local Authorities would be given powers to force landlords to reduce the number of people living in a property. This could result in vulnerable tenants being made homeless. We think this section needs to be reconsidered.
”We would urge anyone having problems with their landlord or experiencing housing issues to contact Shelter’s free helpline on 0808 800 4444 or, alternatively, they can go to www.shelter.org.uk/getadvice.”
Notes to Editors:
1. Shelter Scotland, the housing and homelessness charity. Shelter Scotland believes that everyone should have a home. We help people find and keep a home. We campaign for decent housing for all.
2. Spokespeople are available for interview, telephone the media office on 0844 515 2442. An ISDN line number is available for broadcast interviews.
3. For more information about Shelter Scotland visit www.shelter.org.uk
4. Follow Shelter Scotland on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/shelterinscotland
Twitter – http://twitter.com/shelterscotland
Contact: Neil Baldwin, Nicola Baxter
Phone: 0844 515 2442