A SMALL group of demonstrators gathered in the city centre to represent the “voice of 100 tenants”.

Living Rent members and Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) tenants took to Wheatley House in Merchant City calling for rent freeze yesterday.

James Roberts, neighbourhood organiser for Living Rent, said: “The union has been running a tenant-led rent consultation since the turn of the New Year. “Resoundingly people have been telling us they want a rent freeze.”

The group stood outside Wheatley Group’s head office with banners “to bring that message home”.

Testimonies from 100 residents from across the city on cardboard billboards outside the Cochrane Street premises.

Living Rent demonstration

Living Rent demonstration

Mr Roberts added: “We are a union and we use direct action. We are respecting Covid guidelines but what we are doing here is bringing the voice of 100 tenants.

“In more normal time it could be 100 tenants that would be here and that is important.”

The physically-distanced event came in protest of an expected rent increase for GHA tenants expected from the start of April.

Concerns of a rent increase come among tenants’ claims that services have been reduced due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

One of the demonstrators and Living Rent members Caroline said: “We have had no services since March 2020, no maintenance, no communal close cleaning although the Scottish Government did advise and request landlords keep that going.”

“We have been left without all services and we have all paid rent during this time,” she claimed.

Another GHA tenant Adrian Fletcher said: “We are taking action to demand an immediate rent freeze.

“We have suffered losses of income, jobs and in many cases, loved ones.

“Those of us fortunate enough to still have a job have seen meagre pay rises – such as the paltry 1% awarded to our brave NHS nurses.”

A GHA spokeswoman said: “We’re totally committed to informing, explaining and, most importantly, engaging tenants in everything we do. The GHA board took full account of what tenants told us during our 2021-22 rent consultation, which concluded last month.

“A whole range of support services is available to any tenant having difficulty paying their rent or meeting their household expenses.”