John Paul's Housing Story

Hi there Folks my name is John Paul Warrillow, and this is my story of the troubles I’ve had and I’m currently still facing in finding safe, secure and stable housing. I feel extremely let down by the state of housing in Scotland. During the pandemic, I’ve been given two different unlawful eviction notices and the letting agency I’m with came to do repairs in my property without adequate PPE. They treated my rights as a tenant and as a person trying to stay safe with disdain. But this is just part of my housing story. Continue reading

Housing as a feminist issue

Housing is one of the primary sites of social reproduction; a home is made from the unpaid and emotional labour that has historically been carried out by women. The labour that takes place within the home is centred on sustaining life, rather than accruing profit. It should come as no surprise that women have been and continue to be central to the housing movement. Living Rent is no exception.   Continue reading

Muirhouse News - 6 Blocks Issue 5

Living Rent Union members in the Muirhouse branch have published their 5th issue of 'The Six Blocks' documenting their struggles, concerns, and successes in their ongoing fight against Edinburgh Council for better public housing conditions. Access the fourth issue of this newsletter here.  

Glasgow Life: still a closed book on library reopenings

Living Rent demands that Councillor David McDonald gives local communities honest answers on our services! Continue reading

Why you should join your tenants' union!

From our member Maria Torres Quevedo: "As urban planner Raquel Rolnik states in a recent interview on the podcast A World to Win: “A house is a portal to other human rights: access to education, a good environment, access to health, access to cultural and economic opportunities.” Through my experience with Living Rent, I would add to this that a house can connect you to your street, your block, your city, and these, in turn, can help you make your house a home – not just as a building, but as part of a community.  All of this marks a significant shift in our collective narrative about our homes, our cities, the country, even the world we share. The housing market is not a god that should decide our fate; it’s up to us to build a community where people's needs are met. This work isn’t done, but your neighbours are doing it, and you can join them. Read the entire article here.

Making the case for rent controls

Living Rent built itself notably on the sustained efforts by tenants between 2014 and 2016 to shape the 2016 Private Housing Act. After a two year long campaign for secure, quality and affordable housing, the union won legislation which provided more secure tenancies and a first attempt towards rent controls: the rent pressure zones. This was a real victory for the tenants' movement: after 30 years, rent controls were on the table again as a sensible solution to tackle the housing crisis! Continue reading

Living Rent's manifesto: Why our demands matter

Our members wrote for Bella Caledonia about the background to our manifesto's demands: "Let’s remind ourselves, since we got our parliament back, Scotland demolished 66,000 public homes, and sold off nearly half a million more through right to buy, ultimately leading to the takeover of our public housing in places by rapacious private landlords. We can stop this. We must stop this. Poverty and despair is rising, but we still have opportunity to change this. The only force that ever changed anything is organised people."Read the entire article here. Continue reading

Living Rent is recruiting a member defence coordinator for the East Coast!

Living Rent is hiring! Join our expanding team of organisers to fight for housing that works for people. After a full-on year, we have seen the importance of people coming together and fighting for their rights. As Living Rent grows and expands, so have our member defence teams and we are excited to welcome on board another member defence coordinator, to support member defence teams in Edinburgh and across the East Coast to fight back for their rights. This is a fixed 12 months full time contract at Living Wage.     Continue reading

Up the standards: Fight for a better standard of repairs

Across our branches, one issues that keeps coming up is the poor standard of repairs across social and public housing. Tenants are made to live in house unfit for occupation: ongoing damp, black mould, leaks and recurring poor standards of repairs leave tenants facing enormous heating bills, health issues from the damp and mould as well as stress of having to live in such conditions. Local member defence teams support tenants to fight for individual repairs, however we know that broader structural changes are needed too. Continue reading

Living Rent calls for “proper rent controls to protect Scotland’s tenants”

Scotland’s tenants’ union calls for “proper rent controls to protect Scotland’s tenants” Living Rent, Scotland’s tenants’ union, has welcomed proposals to limit rent increases in private rented homes but cautioned that new measures need to go far enough in order to properly protect tenants. The proposed Fair Rents (Scotland) Bill, would cap annual rent increases to the “Consumer Price Index plus 1%” and allow private tenants to request a Rent Officer to determine a “fair open market rent” if they felt they were being overcharged. Responding to the consultation on the bill, Living Rent supported both measures but cautioned that the proposed limit on rent increases is too high. It adds that a one-size-fits-all approach will not be able to take into account local conditions, and called for local authorities to be able to set lower limits in their areas Continue reading