Terrified mother faces eviction from home after massive rent hike
Jemma Maclaren faces homelessness after her rent rose by £200 a month
Jemma Maclaren has been told to vacate her nine-year-old home by December 17 after telling landlord Kelvin Properties she cannot afford the rent hike. The 43-year-old was ‘terrified’ to hear her rent was rising from £695 to £895 a month, a 29% increase.
It comes as people across the UK continue to feel the pressure of the cost of living crisis.
The mother-of-one, from Glasgow, is determined not to let the heartbreaking situation affect her 12-year-old daughter, who will have to move house and go to school, reports The Daily Record.
Jemma said: “I’m terrified. This rent increase and eviction notice means I’m not able to plan anything, and with the cost of living crisis everything is hitting me at once. .
“I’m trying to stay on track for my daughter so she doesn’t get anxious and worried about having to leave her school and her friends.
“Christmas is canceled this year for us and I’m dreading it. That’s not what life in your 40s is supposed to be.”
Jemma is desperate not to let the heartbreaking situation affect her daughter, Skye
Jemma has lived in her Partick home with her daughter for almost a decade and during that time has paid landlords Kevin Properties £70,000 in rent.
His eviction date of December 17 would take into account the deadlines for notice of departure and notice of eviction.
His fate was picked up by Living Rent, who staged a protest outside the Charing Cross landlords’ office as they handed over the ‘biggest rent hike of the month’ to the rental company.
The union asked the landlord to suspend the rent increase and immediately withdraw the notice of resignation.
Membership advocacy representative Lewis Kinney said: “Jemma’s story shows exactly why we at Living Rent do what we do, callous landlords raising rents and threatening to put people out on the street. at Christmas.
“Similar situations are happening all over Scotland, and it’s all the more shameful given the crisis in the cost of living and the fact that ordinary people are struggling to put food on the table and heat their house.
“We must stand up to this appalling behavior by uniting, and we urgently need the Scottish Government to act responsibly and freeze rents.”
Contacted by Living Rent, a Kelvin Properties spokesperson said: “While [we] appreciate Jemma’s situation and we have, during her tenancy, agreed and negotiated the increase in rent, as landlord we now find ourselves facing a steep increase in costs as well.
“With a sharp increase in all management costs at all levels, including factoring, insurance, maintenance, materials, etc.
“This increase is in no way intended to function as an ‘eviction notice’; it merely serves to bring it in line with the market rental value for this area.
“The rent increase simply brings Ms. Maclaren’s rent in line with open market rents for the location.
“Tenants have the option of contacting the Housing and Property Chamber and can ask the court to determine the amount of rent if they think their rent is too high.
“To determine the rental value in the open market, we look at the rents at which comparable properties are marketed and the advice of local agents.
“Unfortunately, as a business, we are unable to absorb the cost of increased management fees, factoring, insurance premiums and maintenance costs for this property without a rent increase does not occur.
“Ms Maclaren did not ask the Court to make a decision and indicated that she was unable to pay the increase and indicated that she was unhappy with her neighbours.
“So we followed the procedure and issued Ms. Maclaren with a notice to end her lease.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson added: “The Scottish Government recognizes the huge pressures many households are facing at the moment and this includes instances where people are facing steep rent increases.
“For tenants with a private residential tenancy, there are strict legal procedures a private sector landlord must follow to increase the rent, including only being able to increase once a year and providing three months’ notice, and tenants have the right to challenge any unfair increases.
“Many tenants have used these rights and we are committed to ensuring that all tenants know how to use them.
“For evictions, landlords can only take action for specific reasons and following a specific process and we recently strengthened the law to give tenants more protection against eviction.
“Just this week, we released responses to our New Deal proposals for tenants that show the value of making improvements for tenants, including strong rent controls that deliver lasting benefits to tenants.”