Tenants in Glasgow are looking to close up a legal loophole which saw Govan residents facing rent increases of over 80 per cent, forcing them from areas they have lived all of their lives.

A petition backed by Central Govan Tenants and Residents and the local community council hopes to amend the Rent (Scotland) Act 1984 to prevent disproportionate rent increases being set for Scottish Secure Tenants.

Having been with housing associations since before 1989, these tenants are generally elderly and the increases have, in a number of cases, caused considerable hardship.

In 2016, a number of pre-1989 Housing Association tenants in Govan appealed their rent increases, with assessors subsequently putting rates up by between 35 and 60 per cent for the three-year period of the review.

As a result, some Govanites, who have lived in the area all of their lives, have been driven away.

Marion Donnelly, 65, has had to move more than 10 miles to Bishopton after her social rent increased by more than £1,000 per year.

The care worker said: "It is totally different and I am now socially isolated. Being a Govanite, my seven siblings all live within ten minutes of my old house on Govan Road. My friends are all there.

"I don't know anyone in Bishopton, it is in the wilderness.

"To think that people are being forced from their area is a shame. The upheaval, it is awful.

"The people making decisions don't know the area and the rent is no longer affordable. It is sickening."

While the number of people on secure tenancies is dwindling, just under 1,000 people could be hit by these changes.

Another of those affected was James Wright, who took his battle against the massive increases to the court of session.

Mr Wright remains in Govan, but said rents are becoming 'astronomical'.

He added: "Some tenants are at risk and aren't aware until it hits them in the face.

"I've not got any kids but I would have been pushed out of the area. I would have been in a sleeping bag on the street somewhere."

The petition's organiser John Foster said: "In Govan we have seen some rents being increased on appeal by over 80 per cent for a three year period. "It is shameful that generally elderly tenants should have to face such increases and in some cases find it necessary to leave the houses in which they have lived all their lives."

The petition also has local political support, with councillors from both the Greens and Labour supportive of the residents' efforts.

Housing association themselves called it a "crazy situation", and said they were supportive of the move to address the increases.

It is hoped a small wording amendment to ensure only rents in the immediate area are used as comparisons, would solve this issue.

Councillor Allan Young said: "In recent years a group of tenants in Govan have seen huge rent increases, sometimes in the region of 50 to 60 per cent. This has naturally caused a lot of anxiety amongst tenants, some of them elderly.

"We need a longer term solution.

"I have been working with campaigners and Glasgow City Council on this and we are calling on the Scottish Government to take action to prevent this happening again.”

Bailie John Kane added: "Having played a major role in delivering a statue in Central Govan to the great rent campaigner Mary Barbour, I have become increasingly frustrated that another rent issue - one hundred years later - is allowing flawed determinations which affect some of my elderly constituents in an unjust manner."