Edinburgh City Council recently ruled that millionaire businessman Mark Fortune be removed from the city’s licensing register as unfit to operate as a landlord. It is the first time that the council has refused a landlord application. It is now illegal for this individual to let out properties and charge rents. The story is covered in full here: http://www.scotsman.com/edinburgh-evening-news/latest-news/landlord-banned-for-threatening-to-shoot-tenants-1-2778349
EPTAG secretary Jon Black describes the background work that helped achieve this important result: “Thinking back, we did a lot of work,” he says. “Just over a year ago, we held our first public meeting. We came together to ‘Ban criminal landlords’ and the campaign quickly took off. We door knocked and talked to tenants, encouraging them to complain if they were being badly treated. We lobbied councillors, council officials and local community councils. We got court support for one tenant who had a particularly bad experience. A lot of people have put in a lot of time and effort to win this result that had to come.”
EPTAG is winning wide recognition and respect for their work. You can one such report here: http://www.nationalnetworkcc.com/2013/01/robin-hoods-men-landlords-and-letting_7149.html
We have enjoyed other successes as well. In November the Scottish Government announced a tightening up of laws forbidding extra charges imposed on private tenants by letting agencies and landlords. This reiterated the ban on all other charges apart from legitimate deposits and rents. Again the success came after public EPTAG demonstrations outside offending agents’ offices, collecting hundreds of signatures, petitioning and a consistent publicity campaign.
Latest cause for celebration is the Fuel Poverty Campaign in which EPTAG has been part the pressure on Edinburgh City Council to create an Energy Co-operative that will bring down fuel prices. A commitment has been won for this. Once again EPTAG has played an active role. A recent demonstration outside a Scottish Gas premises in North Edinburgh attracted more than 50 people.