'Housing rights should be enforceable as human rights': £10k raised for legal bid to halt eviction of Leith resident

Andy Wightman is supporting Colin Brown who is facing eviction from his home of 27 years 

  • Crowdfunded legal bid reaches £10,000 target to challenge eviction on human rights grounds
  • Leith resident Colin Brown battles eviction from home of 27 years
  • Andy Wightman MSP: “Private tenants should not be subject to eviction simply because a corporate landlord wishes to liquidise its assets”

A LEGAL CHALLENGE against a landlord seeking to evict a Leith man from his home of 27 years has passed its funding goal, with Green MSP Andy Wightman hoping to challenge the law on human rights grounds. 

A crowdfunder launched before Christmas by Wightman has raised the £10,000 needed to begin work on a proposed legal challenge to the eviction on human rights grounds. 

Colin Brown, 67, is resisting eviction from his home of 27 years by his landlord, Express Investment Company Ltd.

Although Brown’s case is due to be heard by the First Tier Housing Tribunal, Wightman is hoping to challenge current Scots housing law on human rights grounds should Brown’s appeal fail by arguing that it does not currently protect his right to a private and family life. 

CommonSpace understands it would be the first challenge of its kind in Scotland, and if successful the case could be significant for private tenants across Scotland who face eviction. 

Read more: Green MSP launches rights bid to halt eviction of Leith resident of 27 years

Announcing news that the crowdfunded had reached its goal, Wightman commented: “Thank you to all who have donated to this crowdfunder. Work is underway and we will report further in the coming weeks. Private tenants should not be subject to eviction simply because a corporate landlord wishes to liquidise its assets.”

“The legal challenge to the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988 is based on the belief that the legislation violates Colin Brown's human rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (Article 8 Right to Respect for Private and Family Life and Article 1 of Protocol 1 Protection of Property).”

The housing charity Shelter Scotland said previously it would be watching the case with interest. 

Gordon MacRae, assistant director of communications and policy with Shelter Scotland, added: “Despite progress in recent years to provide private tenants with more security this case highlights the still precarious nature of private renting as a long term solution to the housing emergency.

“We will watch the case with interest and believe that housing rights should be enforceable as human rights.”

In a statement issued via their solicitors before Christmas, Colin Brown’s landlord, Express Investment Company Ltd, said it would be inappropriate to comment further, as the case is subject to ongoing litigation. 

Image courtesy of Global Justice Now

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