The Shelter Stirling Private Rented Sector project seeks to provide advice to tenants in the Private Rented Sector, (PRS), focusing on resolving housing crises to help them stay in their homes, to understand their legal rights and responsibilities, to advocate on their behalf with landlords, to advise and support the Private Landlord Registration and Housing Options teams of Stirling Council.
The project also provides:
- Advice and guidance to Police Scotland to ensure effective responses to illegal eviction and harassment issues
- Awareness and information sessions at landlord forums
- Engagement with university bodies to reach out to Stirling’s student population
- Rural outreach surgeries in partnership with Stirling Council.
How we do it
We aim to reach individuals in the Stirling area who are affected by private rented sector issues. We advise tenants on their rights and responsibilities around issues such as:
- Tenancy Security
- Rent Arrears
- Repair and Maintenance Issues
Our advice is free confidential and impartial. The Project works principally over the telephone or by email but home visits, community appointments and outreach work are all undertaken. The Project also works in partnership with Stirling University to provide advice and support to students or University staff living in the Private Rented Sector who are experiencing difficulties.
A client's story
The client is a single male, age 54 who has the status as a 'vulnerable adult'. He has received a Notice to Quit (NTQ) his tenancy.
The referral was received from the Shelter Scotland Helpline.
The client has lived in the Stirling town property since he was born, sharing a home with his mother, who died in 2008. His mother had also stayed in the property for many years with her own mother, who was the owner of the property. The owner died in 1981 but left the house to her son, the client's uncle. The client and mother remained in the property thereafter.
In 1987 the client's mother started to pay rent to her brother and claimed housing benefit as a regulated tenant. She died in 2008 and the client remained in the property.
The Shelter Helpline advised on making the referral that on the death of client's mother, our client would have succeeded as an assured tenant as outlined in legislation. However, after further investigation with the Department of Revenues and Benefits, the Adviser was able to establish that the client had in fact been a joint regulated tenant with his mother. Therefore on the mother’s death the client retained the regulated tenancy status. Once the tenancy status was established the Adviser was able to determine the validity of the Notice to Quit.
Shelter Scotland have subsequently advised the client that the NTQ is invalid. This advice is on the basis that the landlord is attempting end an assured tenancy.
On this basis the Shelter Scotland Adviser has written to the solicitor acting for the landlord and whilst the case is ongoing at the time of writing, (April 2015), it appears very likely that the client will remain in their tenancy under an Assured Tenancy Agreement.