Significant rise in demand for GLC housing and homelessness services

Govan Law Centre (GLC) has recorded a significant demand for housing law advice and representation services over the last six months.

The number of “Type 3” housing cases – homeless, eviction and housing disrepair cases in courts or tribunals – increased by 112% between Quarter 3 (Q3), 1 October to 31 December 2023 and Quarter 4 (Q4), 1 January to 31 March 2024.

The number of court and tribunal Type 3 housing cases for Q3 was 60; while the figure for Q4 was 127.

Demand for Type 2 housing cases – requiring a case to be opened for advice and assistance by way of a solicitor and/or caseworker – increased by 52% between Q3 and Q4. The number of Type 2 housing cases for Q3 was 103, which rose to 157 for Q4.

For Q3, GLC appeared in 117 housing court and tribunal callings or hearings; rising to 131 for Q4. Overall figures for all Type 1 to 3 cases for Q3 was 1,033, as against 1,092 for Q4. GLC also appears in courts and tribunals in a wide range of social welfare law cases generally.

The detailed breakdown of Type 3 housing cases for Q3 was as follows: 12% were social tenant eviction cases; 2% private rented sector (PRS) tenant evictions; 3% mortgage repossessions; 48% homelessness cases; and 35% other housing cases (including disrepair, compensation and other eviction actions).

The breakdown for Q4 was: 9% social tenant eviction cases; 2% PRS tenant evictions; 2% mortgage repossessions; 48% homelessness cases; and 39% other housing cases. The largest increases were for homelessness cases and other housing cases generally.

With the expiry this month of the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act 2022, and less generous rent controls now in place for PRS tenants, GLC expects to see a rise in demand in PRS eviction cases later this year.

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