Scotland

Tenants who complain being 'bullied' by landlords

Tenement flats in Govanhill Image copyright Google

Tenants are being threatened and bullied by landlords if they make a complaint, it has been claimed.

Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) is calling for more to be done to tackle bad landlords in the private housing sector.

It was contacted by more than 6,000 tenants last year to report problems with landlords and poor housing.

The Scottish Association of Landlords said it was important that rules were enforced to drive rogue landlords out.

The number of tenants contacting CAS last year increased by 23% over the previous two years.

It's report highlights multiple cases of landlords failing to meet their legal responsibilities, refusing to do basic repairs and bullying or intimidating their tenants.

'Shocking insight'

The organisation said it deals with 24 private rented housing cases every working day.

CAS housing spokesman Patrick Hogan said: "The figures we are publishing today are a shocking insight into the worst corners of the private rented sector in Scotland.

"We regularly see incidents of poor quality housing, dampness and condensation, poor electrical wiring and unsafe appliances not being repaired, with landlords too often responding to complaints by harassing, threatening and bullying."

John Blackwood, chief executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) said: "As the CAS report acknowledges, most private landlords are doing the right thing and acting responsibly.

"The sector is already, and rightly, heavily regulated but it is important that those existing rules are enforced to ensure that rogue and criminal landlords are driven out of the market.

"These individuals do enormous harm to the reputation and business of our members and we will work with any partners to do more to eliminate them and their practices.

"SAL welcomes the call from CAS to encourage tenants to know their rights and take action against such bad practice."

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