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Scotland's Lousy Landlords Exposed: CABs deal with 24 private rented housing cases every working day

6 Apr 2016

Over 6,000 Scots contacted the CAB service last year to report problems with landlords and poor housing in the private rented housing sector. This is an increase of 23% over the previous two years, and amounts to 24 cases every working day.

The evidence, revealed today (Wednesday) by Citizens Advice Scotland, includes multiple cases of landlords failing to meet their legal responsibilities, refusing to do basic repairs and bullying or intimidating their tenants. 

CAS is today calling on the sector to clean up its act, and urging tenants to stand up for their rights and challenge un-acceptable landlord behaviour.

CAS Housing spokesman Patrick Hogan says,

“The figures we are publishing today are a shocking insight into the worst corners of the private rented sector in Scotland. While most private landlords are responsible and doing right by their tenants, our evidence shows there are far too many who are not.

“In today’s economy many Scots can’t afford to buy their own home, and yet there is not enough affordable social housing for rent. So many find themselves in the private rented sector – often paying higher rents than they can easily afford. This makes it more important than ever that standards are maintained at an acceptable level. Yet Scotland’s CAB advisers are seeing 24 cases every working day where lousy landlords are letting their tenants down.

“The specific case evidence is even more shocking. We regularly see incidents of poor quality housing, dampness and condensation, poor electrical wiring and un-safe appliances not being repaired with landlords too often responding to complaints by harassing, threatening and bullying.   

“In publishing this evidence, we are calling on Local Authorities and the Scottish Government to re-double their efforts to monitor the private rented sector and crackdown on those who are giving it a bad name. We also call on all landlords to make sure they are doing right by their tenants.

“But we also have a message today for private sector tenants:  Make sure you know what your rights are, and don’t put up with un-acceptable behaviour from your landlord. If you are being treated unfairly, you are not alone and help is available. We are publishing (below) a basic guide to private sector tenant’s rights. But if you want to challenge your landlord, your first step is to get advice. And as ever, your local CAB is ready to help you.”

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