about us

Who We Are

Living Rent is Scotland’s tenants’ union. We are a democratic organisation run by and for our members.

We organise and represent our members in the private and social rented sector.

We fight for safe, secure and affordable housing for everyone. We are not affiliated to any political party.

 

 

Living Rent is a fully mutual Company Limited by Guarantee 
Our company number is: SC505467
Our Registered Office is: 617, 12 South Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1DD
Here is a copy of our Articles of Association





We are part of ACORN International 

ACORN International is building a movement to take on the challenges facing poor and working-class people in developing economies and polities. We build community organizations in these countries to mobilize poor and working-class residents to fight for their rights and build democratic culture and institutions. Through local membership-based organizations in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, ACORN International fights for the basic rights of people – better security, health, housing, education, and employment conditions, and more responsive, truly representative government

On Est Ensemble - ACORN Cameroon

What We Do

Living Rent is a mass-membership organisation of low- and middle-income renters, fighting together to win concrete improvements to our daily lives and to put political and economic power back where it belongs – in the hands of ordinary people. In short, we are a union.

We believe in the collective power of people to come together to fight for their rights and to ensure that everyone has decent and affordable housing. In any town or city, we build the union from scratch, by people working, taking action, and winning together.

We’ve stopped evictions, won tens of thousands of pounds worth in repairs and compensations from landlords and letting agents as well as major improvements in the law. By building community power and challenging landlords collectively, we not only win for our members but we also fight for a housing and a political system that puts people before profit. We are not affiliated to any political party, but recognise the importance of influencing parties and politicians and holding them to account.

 

Our structure

We are organised from the bottom up. We build branches - usually in a neighbourhood - where people organise to take action on local issues. Branch members elect their leadership, a committee who is accountable to local members and to the wider vision of the union. When there are enough local branches in a town or region, they form a city or regional forum to coordinate their campaigns and actions. 

Branches work together on national campaigns, through the national forum. The National Committee, which is composed of tenants elected by the annual general meeting as well as co-opted members, is legally responsible for the organisation and ensures that the organisation respects its values, the strategic directions given by its members and that it has good governance.

We have active branches across the country. You can check out the events near you and get in touch if you want to build you own branch.

How We Are Funded

As a union, we function through a dues model: our members support us and this means that we are accountable to members and put members' interests first. We feel very strongly about being democratic and member-run: your member dues keeps us working for you, our members. You can join here.

Trade unions have also supported our work by affiliating to Living Rent. We are grateful for such support and if you want to ask your union branch to affiliate, contact us

We also seek external funding to support our activities and enable the growth of the union.

National Committee

Every year, members elect the national committee during Living Rent's annual general meeting.
The current committee is

  • Sean Baillie: Maryhill member and labour organiser, who acts as the staff liaison of the NC.
  • Megan Bishop: Leith member and researcher, who acts as the Secretary of the NC.
  • Annie Craig: Govan member and full-time carer. 
  • Gloria Dawson: Pollokshields member and writer, who acts as the Treasurer and Research Coordinator of the NC.
  • Ruaraidh Dempster: Gorgie Dalry member and student, who acts as the Membership Officer of the NC.
  • Ellinore Folkesson: Knightswood member and statistician, who acts as the Chair of the NC.
  • Vicky Hood: Newington member and labour educator.
  • Iain MacInnes: Govanhill member and carer.
  • Joey Simons: Govanhill member and educator, who acts as the Chair of the National Forum.   

Staff

We currently have a small number of staff who work alongside elected leaders to support the union's growth:

  • Emma Saunders - National Organiser
  • Jon Black - Operations Manager
  • Rufus Bouverie - Communications Officer

Glasgow & West Coast

  • Sonja Coquelin - Glasgow City Head Organiser - I support the team of organisers, branch committee members and the campaigns across Glasgow.
  • George Lavery - Glasgow Organiser - I support our members in Govanhill and Govan areas in Glasgow.
  • Jack Hanington - Glasgow Organiser - I support our members in Dennistoun in Glasgow.
  • James Roberts - Glasgow Organiser - I am running an organising drive in Knightswood and Castlemilk, where social tenants and their neighbours are taking action together to improve their housing and area. I am also reaching out to GHA tenants across the city to get a better standard of repairs throughout Glasgow.

Edinburgh & East Coast

  • Sinéad McNulty - Edinburgh City Organiser -  I support the team of organisers, branch committee members and the campaigns across Edinburgh.
  • Emily Donnelly - I support our members in Lochend in Edinburgh.
  • Andrew Duffy - I support our members in Leith in Edinburgh.

Remote organising and training

  • Kerri Gallacher - Remote organiser - I'm supporting members throughout Aberdeen, Dundee, St Andrews, the Highlands & Islands and Highland Perthshire to support tenants, plan campaigns and build new branches. If you're in any of these area's do get in touch! I'm looking forward to seeing the strength of the union grow across the whole of Scotland.

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