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

What We Do

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

In any town or city, we build the union from scratch, by people working, taking action, campaigning 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.

Our structure

We are organised from the bottom up. We build branches - usually in a particular neighbourhood - to let people take action quickly on local issues. These branches have an elected leadership and are accountable to local members but also to the wider vision of the union. When there are enough local branches in a town or regions, they can form a city/regional branch to coordinate campaigns and action between the branches. 

Branches work together on national campaigns. The national strategy and direction is set by our National Committee (NC), which is composed of tenants elected by the AGM as well as co-opted members without a voting power. The NC meets monthly with the senior staff member to review our activities.

We have active branches across the country. Branches are supported by local Organising Committees formed of elected representatives responsible for the branch's activities, member defence, campaigns, outreach, events and communications. This allows us to operate in a coordinated fashion but also enables each branch to have quite a lot of autonomy. 

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 subscriptions 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 to affiliate, contact us

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

So far we have received funding from:

  • Nationwide Foundation
  • Open Society Foundation
  • Foundation Scotland
  • People’s Health Trust
  • Big Lottery
  • Tudor Trust
  • Arika
  • Rosa Luxemburg Foundation

National Committee

These are your elected members of the National Committee in 2020/21

Gloria Dawson:  I am a writer, editor and researcher living in Pollokshields, Glasgow. In Living Rent, I act as the Treasurer and I am also involved in research, member defence and building my local branch of the union.

Greum Maol Stevenson: I am a novelist, poet, journalist and Zen Buddhist monk in Wyndford, Glasgow. In Living Rent, I am involved with communications.

Maria Torres-Quevedo: I am a trade unionist with a background in literature and communications. In Living Rent, I act as the joint Membership and Trade Union Officer and participate in the national communications team, alongside with the Edinburgh communications team.

Rufus Bouverie: I am a student in Newington, Edinburgh. In Living Rent, I am on the national communications teams, alongside with the Edinburgh communications team and Edinburgh member defence team.

Ellinore Folkesson: I am a researcher. In Living Rent, I act as the Chair of the union and have supported Living Rent having a voice by taking part in policy conferences and reviewing external research projects.

David Hanson: My goal for the National Committee this year is to continue to develop structures and training to help local branches publicise their campaigns more effectively in order to exercise community power. Post-COVID, our work has become infinitely more important, and my goal is to make sure that our voices become impossible to ignore.

Gordon Maloney: I am an online campaigner based in Leith, Edinburgh. In Living Rent, I am on the communications team and active around national campaigns, notably our campaign for rent controls.

Meg Bishop: I am a housing researcher based in Abbeyhill, Edinburgh. In Living Rent, I act as the Secretary and coordinate the research team, looking at both internal research for the union's campaigns and liaising with external research projects. 

Staff

We currently have a small number of both staff who work alongside elected leaders within Living Rent to help ensure that the union continues to grow while running smoothly and efficiently.

Emma Saunders - National Organiser

Jon Black - Operations Manager

George Lavery - Glasgow Organiser

Sinéad McNulty - Edinburgh Organiser - I support members to build branches, defend tenants & win campaigns in south Edinburgh and the local branch in Gorgie/Dalry. I also support branches in West Lothian and Aberdeen. If you are in these areas get in touch!

Jack Hanington - Member Defence Coordinator - I work across all of the union's neighbourhood branches, building strong member defence teams who fight and win improvements to our members' housing. If you are struggling with a member defence issue, get in touch!

Nick Durie - Glasgow Organiser - I organise drives in Partick-Scotstoun as well as Maryhill areas, and am helping to bring a focus to the union's work within social housing and among social housing tenants. I live in a housing scheme in Maryhill with my wife Ellenor and two children.

Sonja Coquelin - Glasgow Organiser -  I support members setting up neighbourhood branches in Pollokshields and Shawlands and building local member defence teams.

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 Wheatley Group tenants across the city to get close cleaning restarted,

Elle Glenny - Edinburgh Organiser - I support members across North Edinburgh to build local branches, plan successful campaigns, and defend tenant rights. I currently organise the Leith and Muirhouse branches, in particular working with council tenants around improvements.