Scotland ‘will address the power imbalance between landlords and renters’

Patrick Harvie, Minister for Tenants Rights in the Scottish Parliament has issued a statement where he is determined level up the ‘power imbalance between landlords and renters’.

Will tis happen in England?

The statement is:

PEOPLE in insecure and overpriced housing have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. With Omicron causing even more uncertainty and anxiety, it is vital that the changes we make in the future respond to the pain that so many have experienced.

Evictions have been the nightmare before Christmas for far too many renters across Scotland. Throughout the pandemic we have pushed for protections for those who are at the mercy of unfair treatment by their landlords.

In 2020 my Scottish Green colleagues and I secured a temporary ban that restricted winter evictions. It was a vital and long overdue change, and one that we are building on in government.

Unfair evictions are a problem I know all too well. When I first moved to Glasgow I had a low-paid temping job and an abusive landlord who wouldn’t give me a stable contract. That ended with him turning up with a group of guys to remove the furniture and fittings and turf me out.

Landlords like that still exist, and it’s vital that we do everything we can to protect tenants from them. Insecurity, poor conditions and bad maintenance are far too common in the private rented sector. Many households have even seen their rents increasing sharply during times when landlords’ costs have been low.

This week, in my capacity as Minister for Tenants Rights, I was delighted to announce a consultation on our plans for the biggest expansion of tenants’ rights since the creation of the Scottish Parliament.

Homes are more than bricks and mortar. They play a key part in our health, wellbeing, and life chances. These changes would significantly improve the lives of Scotland’s tenants and could even set a precedent for other governments across the UK to follow.

Good quality housing is not a privilege, it is a human right and should be treated as such. All tenants should enjoy secure, affordable and warm housing.

The New Deal for Tenants that I have put to consultation includes action on unfair evictions and new rights to allow tenants to make their house a home. This includes simple things like the right to keep pets and decorate, more technical measures like greater penalties for illegal evictions and regulations for energy standards, as well as whole new policy areas such as a national system of rent controls.



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