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Tenants: It’s time to Make Renting Right

Do you rent privately? Do you feel like you can’t make your rented house a home? Are you frustrated about rents rises? Do you want things to change? If so, now is an important time to let the Scottish Government know what you think.

The government is currently looking for feedback on a new tenancy for the private rented sector, and there is a chance for private renters themselves to play an important part in this.

Central to the Scottish Government’s proposal is to give private renters the security that their landlord cannot end their tenancy without reason. Instead landlords will be asked to prove that they need the property back for a specific reason, such as they want to sell the home, or live in it. (And in the cases where a tenant is breaking the rules, there will be the appropriate ways to ask them to leave.)

At Shelter Scotland we think this change is essential to give today’s private renters the stability they need to set up home and settle down. For many, private renting has become the norm in the past ten years. The number of private renters has more than doubled – now 312,000 households rent privately. Many of these are families – 80,000 households with children live in the private rented sector. Shelter Scotland believes that the current system of insecure, fixed term, tenancies does not serve Scotland’s current crop of private renters well.

The Scottish Government’s proposal would change this. Families and those locked out of both homeownership and socially rented housing would be given the assurance that their landlord would not be able to bring a tenancy to an end without reason. There is also an opportunity to highlight issues over rental levels in the private sector, and whether government should act to tackle rising rents.

This is why we’re currently campaigning to Make Renting Right. We need you to sign up and support our campaign to show the Scottish Government that reforming the private rented sector should be a priority.

But it also vital that the voices of private renters themselves are heard directly by government. The referendum on independence saw incredible levels of public engagement on the future of Scotland, and consultations like this are prime opportunities to let governments know what the citizens of a country think about the issues that affect their everyday lives.

If you rent privately and would like to have your say on the proposals take this opportunity to fill out the consultation form – the deadline for responses is the 28th of December.

To help you have your say we’ll also be hosting a question and answer session on our Twitter (@ShelterScotland) from 12pm on Wednesday 3rd December, using the hashtag #PRSconsult. And you can register with our private tenants’ forum if you’d like some help filling out the consultation.

Please do get involved!