A homelessness charity is calling for the Scottish Government to move away from insecure short-term tenancies which dominate the country’s private rented sector, arguing the current system doesn’t offer enough security and stability for families.
A report from Shelter Scotland claims that almost 80,000 families with children who rent privately in Scotland face an uncertain future because of the problem, but making the move would drive up standards as tenants would be able to confidently ask landlords to fulfil their legal responsibilities without fear of being asked to leave at the end of their short-term tenancy.
Research by the charity reveals that 59 per cent of people – equivalent to 2.4 million adults in Scotland – agree that private renting is increasingly going to be the place where families live in the future, while census data to be released on Thursday is expected to show a sharp rise in the number of families with children renting privately.
‘Too often we hear of people being moved on, evicted or rents increased unreasonably,’ said Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland. ‘Some are forced into the destructive and unsettling cycle of having to move house – every six months in some cases – preventing them from ever being able to put down strong roots or build a stable environment in which to live.’
He added: ‘For families with children this can be particularly difficult and can affect a child’s schooling and access to support networks.’
Shelter Scotland said that providing long-term tenancies could help reduce the number of void months that landlords need to account for each year and encourage investment in the private rented sector.
It added that landlords would still be able to get their property back if they require it to live in it as their home or need to sell it.
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