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Campaigners in Scotland warn of crisis involving private tenants with concerns over continuing rise in homelessness

CAMPAIGNERS in Scotland have warned of a crisis involving private tenants with concerns of a continuing rise in evictions and homelessness. 

A briefing published by Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) on Wednesday shows an increase of renters in the private sector struggling to make ends meet, with concerns that this could lead to rent arrears and evictions.

Across the network in the past year, the proportion of advice given on housing issues has gone up by 18 per cent, with the number of those in the private sector coming forward rising by 28 per cent. 

CAS said tenants have faced pressure throughout the pandemic and need support, calling for increased access to truly affordable housing across all tenures and a new housing Bill in Parliament. 

This new legislation should address longstanding issues, including eviction rights and disputes with landlords, they said. 

CAS social justice spokesperson Nina Ballantyne said: “Our concern is that as these protections are proposed to be withdrawn, many people will face a financial crisis leading to increased rent arrears and possible evictions.

“We’ve been working with government and other stakeholders to increase the amount of support available to renters, including extending the pre-action requirements which make clear how landlords should support tenants in financial difficulty. 

“We’re asking government and other stakeholders to heed this evidence and continue working together to improve housing in Scotland.”

The calls come as tenants’ union Living Rent held a picket of an Edinburgh letting agent over the treatment of members.

Living Rent Edinburgh members protested outside of Braemore Sales and Lettings, demanding they pay compensation for failing to make urgent repairs.

Braemore has reportedly ignored repeated requests, including fixing a collapsed kitchen ceiling and installing proper ventilation.

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