Now the Glasgow group, which has previously forced Scotland’s largest council into a series of embarrassing U-turns, claims authorities have failed to deal with the blight that can caused by private landlords, with enforcement practically non-existent.
Plans include fostering links with activists in large urban centres such as Edinburgh, Stirling, Dundee and Aberdeen for a national network to increase pressure on the Government and include specialist housing courts and a regulator for the sector.
The campaign will be launched at a meeting next Tuesday in Glasgow, addressing grievances including:
- Antisocial behaviour and neighbour nuisance often associated with privately rented flats and houses and the failure of many landlords and the authorities to deal with it;
- The failure of absentee and rogue landlords and agents in dealing with upkeep and repairs in tenements and other flat types and the limited enforcement powers to clamp down on it;
- The lack of regulation and resources to enforce House in Multiple Occupation, planning and licensing law breaches, absence of enforcement against those who do not sign up to the Landlord Registration Scheme and difficulty in successfully prosecuting rogue landlords;
- The impact on property values, concerns about the “fit and properness” of many landlords and the catastrophic effect transient residents are having on increased numbers of communities.
Bill Fraser, a community councillor in Pollokshields, helped halt the Go-Ape proposal and is one of the architects of the new campaign.
He said: “If absentee landlords fail to control feral tenants, as they are legally obliged to do, noise, lack of repairs and anti-social behaviour make life a misery for normal families.
“The physical quality of buildings deteriorates, rubbish piles up and the character of the neighbourhood changes from a community with a shared interest in their environment to a transient area where many residents have no stake in its cohesion.
“A minority of the current generation of landlords, who often live in the affluent suburbs or abroad, regards property as simply a business and fails to respect an area’s character or its residents.”
Meet on Tuesday, 6th December, 7.00pm
42 Inglefield St