Letters: Stop rogue landlords by investing in housing

Tenents would get better value if more lets were available. Picture:  Ian Georgeson
Tenents would get better value if more lets were available. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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As the industry body representing Scotland’s landlords and agents, I read with interest your article on soaring rents in Glasgow and Edinburgh (News, April 15).

According to a recent survey conducted by Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) to learn more about our customers, we found that a significant number of those who responded chose to rent because of the flexibility the private rented sector (PRS) provides.

However, the housing crisis we face now began decades ago and remains an area politicians are yet to address. The problem will continue until action is taken to provide a mix of housing which also encourages investment in the PRS.

SAL has been working with charities such as Shelter and has found a great deal of common ground between ourselves and the Scottish Government about how to ensure the PRS is as effective as possible. However, if a strategic solution is not found, it will make it easier for rogue landlords to enter the market, providing a poor service and damaging the reputation of the vast majority of landlords and letting agents who are responsible, work to the highest standards and provide an excellent service.

There are almost 330,000 PRS tenants in Scotland and we want to work with the Scottish Government, the third sector and others to encourage investment in order to increase standards and supply to allow us to meet this rising demand and offer tenants value for their money.

John Blackwood, Chief Executive, Scottish Association of Landlords, Hopetoun Gate, McDonald Road, Edinburgh

Warning signs often a hazard themselves

After tripping over a fallen roadworks sign at night I have become more than ever aware of pavement hazards.

I suffered bruising to my wrist and face and couldn’t leave the house for a week due to concussion, but I was unable to obtain any compensation.

Roadwork signs are not necessarily the responsibility of those doing the actual road work and considering the number of signs left lying flat on pavements and in the gutter I assume that the companies involved are not being fully responsible for pedestrian safety.

A similar problem arises when stop signs fall over in the wind.

There have been many complaints regarding cyclists and skateboarders on pavements on this letters page, and also of dog mess, so when will these issues finally be addressed?

Mr A Anderson, Stockbridge, Edinburgh

Labour is biggest loser after the broken vow

In the closing weeks of the referendum campaign, the Unionist parties “explained” that a No vote did not mean the status quo would prevail.

A “vow” was made by their leaders, that significant powers, close to Federalism, underscored by the former PM, Gordon Brown, would result, within a tight timeframe.

Oddly enough, those same Unionist parties refused to allow extra powers for Scotland, as an option, on the ballot papers, as a third question!

Thus, the No vote included not only staunch Unionists, but those who were desperate for extra powers, but feared the nonsense about losing the pound and their pensions with it.

After the Smith Commission, it became apparent that the stranglehold of Westminster would continue unabated, so disillusioned voters flocked to the SNP in droves.

It now looks like the biggest losers will be those Scottish Labour MPs who campaigned so vigorously for a No vote, and whose jackets now hang on extremely shoogly pegs.

Joseph G Miller, Gardeners Street, Dunfermline

Drug users are wasting doctors’ valuable time

I am a patient of Restalrig Park Medical Centre. Every time I consult one of the doctors there she rushes me to the door of the surgery afterwards. It creates a bad impression.

I can accept she is a busy woman but if she wants to be less busy she has only to dump all the drug addicts that are clogging up the practice. After all, they chose to be like that.

Why should my health suffer because the doctors treating me are preoccupied with people with drug problems?

Name and address supplied

Council should repair school water fountains

Recently Lorne Street Primary School was the subject of a robbery of computers, laptops, etc.

The school subsequently had a fun day to raise funds to replace the stolen items. A total of £2038 was collected and more is to come, plus Edinburgh City Council also provided an undisclosed sum.

Having been taught at this school 1936-1942 I attended the fun day and made a small donation. I received a copy of the Lorne Pheonix magazine from the deputy headteacher in which I read an article headed Drinking Water.

I was horrified to note that in this day and age the school’s drinking fountains no longer work and that the council no longer repairs or maintains them.

I think that the Edinburgh public should be made aware of this failure to repair the fountains and the council should now repair them for the children.

W B Park, Mountcastle Terrace, Edinburgh

Not chuffed

UKIP has missed a trick in appealing to its core vote: there’s nothing in their manifesto about making the trains run on time!

John Hein, Montgomery Street, Edinburgh