'It's unaffordable': Tenants protest over rent rise outside Glasgow landlord office

·3-min read
'It's unaffordable': Tenants protest over rent rise outside Glasgow landlord office <i>(Image: Colin Mearns)</i>
'It's unaffordable': Tenants protest over rent rise outside Glasgow landlord office (Image: Colin Mearns)

TENANTS have protested over an “unaffordable” rent rise outside a housing association.

Partick Housing Association increased rents from April by 7%.

Tenants of the association and members of Living Rent staged a demonstration at the offices in Mansfield Street, near Partick Cross.

They are angry at the level of rise which they claim does not reflect the service they get.

Tenants also said the consultation was flawed with a fraction of tenants giving their views.

Partick is one of a number of social landlords in Glasgow who put rents up by 7%.

   The Glasgow Times reported on the rent hikes announced by housing associations across the city.

Partick Housing Association said the rise was lower than inflation and it will consider Living Rent’s request for a meeting.

Among the tenants outside was Robyn Waldeck who has been with the association for two years.

She said: “My rent has gone up by £40 a month in the last two years. It is insane. It is giving me anxiety because I know it will go up again.

“It is hard enough with inflation but wages are not rising enough to keep up with this.”

The protesters said the consultation did not justify the increase.

Living Rent said just three tenants attended in-person consultations and 215 tenants responded to the questionnaire - 12% of the 1800 tenants.

Scott Falconer said: “As a Partick Housing Association tenant it’s galling to be facing a 7% rent hike based on the consultation of only 215 tenants, when our landlord owns 1800 homes.

“Of those 215, Partick Housing hasn’t even stated how many supported this hike, which is amongst the highest in Scotland.

“And it adds insult to injury that having had this rent hike imposed we are now being offered handouts for electricity and food as though we are charity cases.”

Rhona Karangarajah, Partick Housing Association tenant and Living Rent member, said: “For the state of the building I live in - Fortrose House - a rent increase is absolutely appalling.

“The building isn’t watertight and is damp as a result, and has been all-round neglected. It was an award-winning building at one point, but it has been left to go to ruin.

“So, it is entirely unacceptable for Partick Housing Association to impose a 7% rent hike on us.”

The rise is higher than the Scottish Government’s stated expectations that social landlords would not increase rent by more than 6.1% when the rent freeze for social tenants ended on March 31.

The winter rent freeze didn’t impact on housing associations as they increase rent annually on April 1.

A spokesperson for Partick Housing Association said: “We understand that many of our customers may be worried about the cost of living and increased rents.

“We work closely with our tenants and do our best to support those who need help or have financial worries.

“The association, like others, is also facing financial challenges with increasing costs and has had to make difficult decisions this year.

“Having consulted our tenants, we have balanced the needs of customers with continuing to deliver key services and investing in homes while keeping our rents affordable.

“Our rent increase this year is lower than the inflation rate.

“From November 2022 to January 2023, we held various engagement events and encouraged our tenants to get involved in our rent consultation.

“We would encourage any tenants who are worried about their rent to get in touch with us.”