Local private rental landlords and tenants offered free housing advice as legislation on rent freeze changes
Local renters and landlords will be offered free housing advice to help with disputes, bills and conflict resolution to reduce homelessness and promote best practice. The SafeDeposits Scotland Charitable Trust has awarded funding to Glasgow North West Citizens Advice Bureau to offer local people support across a range of housing issues during the cost of living crisis.
GNWCAB will build on a pilot project carried out with SafeDeposits Scotland Charitable Trust funding last year which helped 170 people, of which 78 were experiencing homelessness or threatened homelessness. In the last year, housing issues were 10% of the total cases GNWCAB supported vulnerable communities with and private rental sector issues are increasing because of changing rental legislation. The project will begin in February and run for a year, with advisers going to community locations, Landlord Forums and partner charities to help those most in need. It is hoped the project will support people like Katie*, who contacted GNWCAB after struggling to resolve a dispute with her landlord.
Katie, a 25-year-old from Northwest Glasgow, went to the Bureau for help after receiving an email from her landlord saying she would be evicted as her landlord wanted to sell the house. At the time she was struggling with physical and mental health conditions. She said, "My son is the only thing that's keeping me alive."
The GNWCAB adviser asked her to check if it was notice to quit or leave and a week later she confirmed that her letting agent had called her to say she was in rent arrears due to a rent increase. GNWCAB worked collaboratively to stop the eviction and worked on a repayment plan for Katie's Council Tax and rent arrears. With support from the GNWCAB adviser they were able to maximise her income and help her resolve her debts.
Alana Forsyth, CEO of Glasgow North West CAB, said: "GNWCAB is delighted to offer this new, dedicated service to vulnerable people experiencing private rental housing issues across the city."
"As a result of the funding grant from the SafeDeposits Scotland Charitable Trust, GNWCAB will help private rental sector tenants resolve disputes with their landlords and prevent homelessness, as well as promoting best practice for landlords as legislation on rent changes this year."
In the last year, local charity GNWCAB helped with over 600 housing issues and supported 6,200 people in the community leading to £2.5 million in client financial gains.
John Duff, Chairman of the SafeDeposits Scotland Charitable Trust, said: "We are pleased to be supporting this project, which meets our objectives of advancing education and best practice in the private rented sector, and promoting the use of alternative dispute resolution processes."
"At a challenging time for tenants and landlords, this is an important service."
The GNWCAB adviser will be based at the office on 1455 Maryhill Road as well as providing outreaches with community partner organisations and will be available for emergency appointments, via phone on 0141 948 0204, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
*Names have been changed for confidentiality reasons.
Content provided by Glasgow North West Citizens Advice Bureau.