Govan Law Centre in Glasgow have begun a campaign to assess the needs of those who have had problems with landlords - with an aim to facilitate changes in the law.
Members of staff from the service that provides free legal support are setting up street stalls throughout Glasgow with funding from the national lottery. They are inviting people who have had issues with landlords to come forward and tell their story in order to get a better idea of the issues facing tenants who rent from private landlords.
Principal Solicitor of Govan Law Centre, Mike Dailly said:
"We are holding street stalls across Glasgow to interview hundreds of private tenants about their housing needs and will follow up these with in-depth interviews."
The project was developed after solicitors from the law centre were beginning to see more and more clients living in the private sector who were being made homeless, and suffering in substandard accommodation.
Mr Dailly said:
"We see the bottom of the market. Tenants who pay high rents but for substandard accommodation often because landlords know they are stuck and have nowhere else to go. There is no real competitive rental market for them."
Issues the centre deals with day after day, are families who have been locked out of their homes or tenants living in properties where landlords refuse to make repairs who are asked to leave because they have made a complaint.
It is anticipated that the research that comes from the project will become the basis for reform of the law of the private rent sector, which has doubled in size over the last decade.
At present, many believe the law favours landlords and tenants often feel there is little they can do if their landlord increases their rent, refuses to make repairs or asks them to leave the property.
Govan Law centre will use this research to assess the needs of private sector tenants and in turn how the law can address those needs.
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