Leading charity warns more tenants are being bullied by private landlords
Threatening and bullying landlords are becoming a growing problem in Scotland a leading charity has warned.
Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) wants more to be done to tackle bad landlords in the private housing sector after it was contacted by more than 6,000 tenants last year complaining they were being harassed.
Tenants contacting CAS last year increased by 23% over the previous two years.
A CAS report highlights multiple cases of landlords failing to meet their legal responsibilities, refusing to do basic repairs and bullying or intimidating their tenants.
Each day the charity deals with 24 private rented housing cases it said.
Landlords too often respond to complaints by harassing, threatening and bullying
CAS housing spokesman Patrick Hogan said: "The figures we are publishing today are a shocking insight into the worst corners of the private rented sector in Scotland.
"We regularly see incidents of poor-quality housing, dampness and condensation, poor electrical wiring and unsafe appliances not being repaired, with landlords too often responding to complaints by harassing, threatening and bullying."
John Blackwood, chief executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) said: "As the CAS report acknowledges, most private landlords are doing the right thing and acting responsibly.
"The sector is already, and rightly, heavily regulated but it is important that those existing rules are enforced to ensure that rogue and criminal landlords are driven out of the market.
"These individuals do enormous harm to the reputation and business of our members and we will work with any partners to do more to eliminate them and their practices.
"SAL welcomes the call from CAS to encourage tenants to know their rights and take action against such bad practice."