SHOCKING new research has found tenants resigned to having little or no power over their living conditions, rents and repairs from a new breed of buy-to-let investors and accidental landlords.
That is the conclusion of new research by the Govan Law Centre published today.
Until recently most Glaswegians lived in council houses. 
Then came the rise of owner-occupiers. 
Now the boom is in private lets. 
The switch from social housing – with all its long-fought for rights for tenants – to the private rental sector has been astonishing quick.
New research about to be published that there are roughly 60,000 privately let homes in the city. 
That is half as big again as the stock of Glasgow Housing Association, the old city housing department, which currently has 39,000.

Glasgow Times:
The number of private lets has jumped 170 per cent since 2001, including a leap of 20 per cent between 2011 and 2013.
Across Scotland the number of privately rented homes has risen from six per cent of the total in 1999 to 14.6 per cent now. 
Yet the sector accounts for 18 per cent of homelessness claims, as tenants lose their homes – and one in four properties are deemed by law to be slums, to be “below tolerable standard”.
The problem, argues the Govan Law Centre, is that these tens of thousands of people lack the full protection of the law from inexperienced landlords or cynical letting agents.

Glasgow Times:
Mike Dailly (pictured) of the Law Centre said: “Our report confirms that far too often tenants in Scotland’s private rented sector are getting very poor value for money. 
“In addition to rent paid privately, there is almost half a billion pounds in housing benefit going into the Scottish private rented sector.
“ And yet there is very little control of quality standards or indeed compliance with Scots housing law.
“The system is broken. 
“It is inadequate and          utterly unfit for a modern 21st century that talks about equality of opportunity for the many. 
“And the greatest irony is tenants often pay almost double the rents charged to social rented sector tenants who enjoy a regulatory regime. 
“The sector is riddled with bad and unlawful practice as this report evidences beyond any shadow of a doubt. 
“The relationship between private landlord and tenant is utterly unbalanced and unequal.”
The problem isn’t necessarily that landlords are menacing, the report found,               although many described their owner as distant unless the rent was due. The issue is that landlords don’t know their responsibilities. 
Three quarters of landlords have only one property. 
Twenty-nine per cent are accidental – feeling, for example, that they have to rent out a flat they have inherited or been left with after moving in with a new partner.
It has resulted in landlords who aren’t experienced at running a letting business.
Some try themselves and make a mess of it. Others use letting agencies. 

Glasgow Times: Photo: Colin Templeton..GV of Allison Street in Govanhill.  ..Photo: COLIN TEMPLETON. (39283943)
The Govan Law centre interviewed scores of tenants. 
They found a two-tier system with high-end lets meeting a professional market and cheap homes rented out to benefits claimants.
Tenants complaints included repairs not being done, and a sense of insecurity 
The Govan Law Centre have made a series of recommendations to beef up  tenants' rights, way beyond new legislation unveiled by the SNP in Holyrood last week. 
One was for a Private Rented Sector Housing Inspectorate with powers similar to the Scottish Housing Regulator be set up – a Scotland-wide organisation with ‘legal teeth’ to make sure tenants’ rights are a reality. 
This should ensure thousands of millions of pounds of public money paid into the private rented sector was being well spent.