If you’ve seen our Facebook page recently, you might have noticed that EPTAG has launched a new campaign called Home To Stay. We’re calling on the Scottish Government to abolish the short assured tenancy, which forces thousands of households to live under constant threat of eviction.
Kerstin’s account of how, with the help of EPTAG, she got Albany Lettings to pay what they owe!
When I moved into a new flat in July 2010, I was charged a £65 “referencing fee” by Albany Lettings. However, I then found out through EPTAG that these tenancy fees are illegal, and so I started my quest to get the money back.
Private tenants and supporters! Our next meeting is to plan our new campaign to get tenants better security of tenure, and we need your help to make it a success!
At the moment security of tenure in the private rented sector is very poor, and many tenants don’t feel secure enough to even complain about repairs. The root of many problems for private tenants is in the lack of security, and that is why it is essential to get this changed. (more…)
Please help us support a tenant claiming their illegally charged fees back!
Kerstin recently obtained a decree from the court against Albany Lettings saying they have to pay back illegally charged fees, but they are refusing to pay up, so we are organising a protest at their office to help Kerstin get the money she is owed!
Help us fight for tenants rights, and show how organised tenants can bring rogue letting agencies and landlords into line. All welcome!
The protest will be on Thursday, March 7th, 12.30pm, at the Albany Lettings office, 168 Bruntsfield Place
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 attended the Edinburgh Tenants Federation protest against fuel poverty on February 15th. Around fifty people were there, including lots of private tenants. There was a samba band, ‘Rhythms of Resistance‘ which gave the protest a great atmosphere.
2000 Scots die every year from fuel poverty, largely older people and low income people. Private tenants are the most likely to be in ‘extreme fuel poverty’, spending more than 20% of their income on electricity and gas. So it is important to raise awareness of this important issue.
Last week EPTAG received a request for someone to speak to a journalist about the rising costs of renting. I suspect they wanted us to tell them that rent is increasing, which is a hardship for our members. I gave them a quote, which you can read in the article here.
There’s no doubt that we live in difficult economic times, with food and fuel costs skyrocketing, basic human needs are becoming difficult to meet. This is particularly the case for those of us who rent privately, who tend to be on lower incomes. Affordable stable housing is vital, and consistent rent is a big part of that. Renting in Edinburgh aint cheap – it’s one of the most expensive places to live in Scotland – though still cheaper than Aberdeen, London and the South of England. (more…)
Statistics on fuel poverty make for bleak reading. 28% of homes in Scotland are considered to be in fuel poverty which means they spend over 10% of their income on energy bills. Scottish Government housing condition research states that private tenants are the most likely sector of society to experience “extreme fuel poverty” (defined as spending over 20% of income on energy). According to poverty.org, excess winter deaths in Scotland alone number over 2,000 per year for the over 65s. Charities working on fuel poverty issues commonly state, for many people the affliction of fuel poverty can be down to a question of “heating OR eating”. Fuel poverty is a fundamental issue for hundreds of thousands of Scots and is literally a matter of life and death for some of our more vulnerable community members. (more…)
On October 2nd, protesters from Edinburgh Private Tenants’ Action Group shut down a letting agency which is still demanding illegal fees from its tenants, despite the Scottish Government confirming that charging such fees is a crime.
A dozen EPTAG ‘sheriffs’ arrived at the offices of the Edinburgh Spaces letting agency to investigate reports of a crime: Edinburgh Spaces have been forcing tenants to pay a £500 “check-out fee”, and between £60 and £120 of illegal fees per tenant upon starting a tenancy.
Fed up with rising rents, dodgy landlords, and repairs not getting done? This year EPTAG has had many victories, and we hope to have a year of many more – but we need your support. Help us to stand up for tenants rights, by coming along to our AGM, and having your say on the direction of EPTAG in the coming year!