This is the third such winter that Living Rent member- Annie- and her four children have been forced to live in unsafe and unhealthy housing conditions.
The sky is dreich and the cold has arrived. It is christmas season in Glasgow, winter shelters have opened up as families rely on the comfort and the warmth of their homes to get through until April… or May. Meanwhile, Living Rent are determined to make this harsh season one of hardfought tenant victories!
This is the third such winter that Living Rent member- Annie- and her four children have been forced to live in unsafe and unhealthy housing conditions. Both her and her youngest Ava, seven years old, have disabilities and are affected by lung conditions. At home, terrible cases of slugs, mould, rotting carpets, faulty windows and front door, and inadequate ventilation (to name only a few!) trouble her household. These are living conditions that seriously threaten the health and wellbeing of the family and they need to be repaired urgently so that Annie’s family can spend christmas in a decent home.
The landlord responsible for these repairs under Housing (Scotland) Act 2006, Section 14, who Living Rent believe to be called Mr. Boyak, has shirked all legal responsibility. Uncontactable and unregistered according to the Scottish Landlord Register, Boyak has hidden behind an equally shady letting agent. The firm remarkably named Ethical Letting must have a sense of humor even if they do not have a functioning website. Despite numerous attempts to get the agency to meet (at their address on Payne Street!) in order to discuss repairs, Ethical Letting continue to be vacant, leaving Annie’s family house with growing infestations and broken windows with December fast approaching. Payneful Lettings seems more appropriate.
With the search for the missing landlord and absent letting agent underway, Living Rent contacted Environmental Health only to be told that the service only provides for cases of ‘vermin’ which slugs apparently do not come under.
We have urgently forced through a Repairable Standard Report by the council directed at the Mr. Boyak. The report details the crucial repairs that are required to bring the property up to livable standard. The landlord has been given a deadline- 10th December- by which time, if no repairs have been done, further action will supposedly be taken.
We are currently reaching out to Annie’s councillors and MSPs for support in pressuring the landlord to carry out these repairs as a matter of urgency. Annie’s family cannot wait. Living Rent members will be delivering letters and petitions to each councillor and MSP’s surgery in the Kings Park and Shawlands area in the coming weeks to ensure representatives backing to ensure the repairs to the property are done by the deadline.
Living Rent’s view is that Annie’s case is further evidence not only of the disgraceful behaviour of landlords and letting agents which comes at the expense of tenants’ basic living standards. After 2 years of waiting for repairs, it is evidence of the disturbing lack of enforcement of simple private rented sector laws surrounding landlord practices. The deadline for the landlord to carry out the repairs, 10th December, coincides with Annie’s councillor Susan Aitken’s surgery, it is the perfect opportunity to gather together to consider the council, community and Living Rent’s power in securing these repairs. With cooperation and action by these parties, securing Annie’s repairs before Christmas will be no bother at all.
Join us for letter delivery in the coming weeks and march from Annie’s house to Susan Aitken’s surgery at 6pm, 10th December. (Check out Facebook page for more updates.)