Ellie Hutchinson, Private Renting Project Manager, introduces Shelter Scotland’s national private tenants forum. Running in four local areas, and  supported by a national online presence, this forum aims to strengthen private tenants voices in policy formation.

A house is more than bricks and mortar, it’s also a home. Whether you live in a tenement, a house, a bungalow, you share with friends, you live alone, with your children or your partner; where you go when you come home matters.

A safe, secure home is vital to our wellbeing. As individuals, it provides us with sanctuary, security, warmth; as communities; it gives us roots, connections and neighbourhoods.

In Scotland, changes are afoot to existing policy around private tenancies, and with more and more people renting privately, we at Shelter Scotland want to ensure that your experiences of renting from private landlords is taken to account.

In the Autumn we’ll be launching an online national private tenants forum to share information and support discussions on your experiences. As part of that work, I’ll be hosting regular local forums in four areas- Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stirling.

The first forums will be held in June and July and we’ll be running a free information session on an issue of your choosing relating to renting- either tenancy agreements, rent increases, evictions or deposits. A housing advisor will be on hand, and you’ll get a chance to meet with other folk renting in your area to hear what their experiences are too.

Dates and locations are:

25th June. Stirling 6-7:30pm, Old Viewforth.

29th June. Aberdeen. 5:30-7pm at Langstane Housing Association, 680 King Street, Aberdeen.

7th July Glasgow 17:30-7pm at the Glasgow Shelter Office Breckenridge House, Sauchiehall Street.

15th July Edinburgh 17:30-7pm at 6 South Charlotte Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4AW.

The forums are free to attend, but spaces are limited.

If you’re interested in attending one of the free events, get in touch ellie_hutchinson@shelter.org.uk