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Powerless tenants in Scotland want better protection from rogue landlords

4 July 2011

Ahead of tonight’s Channel 4 Dispatches shocking expose on the underhand tactics of Britain’s worst landlords (1), new research reveals that two thirds of people in Scotland want to see better protection for private tenants from bad landlords.

Figures released today by Shelter Scotland also highlight just how powerless private tenants feel when trying to resolve problems with their accommodation.

John Snow

The YouGov survey shows that over the last 10 years around 40,000 private renters in Scotland have experienced problems with their landlords, with 16,000 of these saying that despite raising a problem with their landlord, nothing was done about it.  And around 3,000 said they were so afraid of the consequences of making a complaint against their landlord, they did nothing at all.

The chronic shortage of social housing and effects of long-term increases in house prices have seen the private rented sector grow to more than 250,000 tenancies across Scotland.

Shelter Scotland says politicians need to do more to make sure that existing laws contained in the Private Rented Sector Act are better enforced. This would benefit both tenants and responsible landlords while rooting out rogue landlords and bad practice.

Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland said:

“People across Scotland shouldn’t have to suffer from the bad practices of a few rogue landlords. Legislation already exists that would help create a bond of trust between landlord and tenant but it is not being enforced across Scotland.  Instead, we still have an environment where rogue landlords thrive and vulnerable tenants are exploited.

”That two thirds of people in Scotland have called for better protection from bad landlords is a big wake-up call and politicians need to act urgently.”


Ends/

Notes to Editors:

1. Channel 4’s Dispatches programme ‘Landlords from Hell’ (Monday 4th July at 8pm) which exposes the shocking treatment of tenants at the hands of Britain’s worst landlords. The investigation uncovers a range of underhand tactics adopted by landlords including renting out dangerous and squalid properties, illegal rental of sheds and poor student accommodation with high rents.

2. 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.

3. Spokespeople are available for interview, telephone the media office on 0844 515 2442.

4. Online survey from YouGov, commissioned by Shelter Scotland. Total sample size is 2,092 GB adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 15th -17th June 2011.  The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

5. For more information about Shelter Scotland visit www.shelter.org.uk

6. Follow Shelter Scotland on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/shelterinscotland Twitter – http://twitter.com/shelterscotland

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