We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Clarity needed over private tenants right to legal support

May 14, 2014 12:57 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat housing spokesperson Jim Hume has called onJim Hume MSPJim Hume MSP the Housing Minister to provide clarity over whether tenants in the private rented sector facing eviction will continue to be afforded legal representation as the appeals process moves from courts to tribunals.

Charities including Homeless Action Scotland and other civic groups have raised concerns over whether the Housing (Scotland) Bill provides the same standard of legal advocacy as was afforded to tenants under the court system.

Mr Hume proposed an amendment which sought to resolve this during Stage 2 committee proceedings today. The amendment was supported by two Labour members of the Infrastrucure and Capital Investment Committee, but the SNP members who hold the majority on the committee refused to back it.

Mr Hume said that this was a missed opportunity for tenants in the private rental sector.

Commenting, Mr Hume said:

"The private rented sector has grown considerably in recent decades. 13 percent of people in Scotland live in a privately rented home. As the appeals process for evictions moves out of the courts and into tribunals tenants deserve assurances that they will be afforded the same legal representation.

"I'm disappointed that SNP would not support this reasonable amendment today. Homeless Action Scotland and a number of other charities share my belief that whilst tribunals will provide a more relaxed environment for what is an extremely stressful situation, tenants should be given the same access to legal support. This is a missed opportunity and I hope that the Housing Minister will provide clarity for the many tenants living in privately rented properties across Scotland."