After spending 22 months in a rented property with a faulty window leaking rain and wind into her home, a disabled woman faces a battle with her former landlord. 

Audrey Gillies, 31, is facing threats of legal action from Turnberry Homes after she withheld rent payments over the outstanding repairs. 

She first highlighted the issue in April 2021, but while someone was sent to assess the repairs needed, there were no follow-ups to amend the issue. 

The 31-year-old gave Turnberry Homes three months' notice before vacating the flat and requested the time be rent-free amid the outstanding rent. 

For the seven years that Ms Gillies lived at the address, she says she never missed a payment, paying a total of over £40,000 in rent

On Tuesday, joined by Living Rent members, Ms Gillies held a protest outside the letting agent's offices against continuing demands for rent arrears and eviction.

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Ms Gillies said: "My flat was my home for seven years; my safe space and somewhere I was happy. I enjoyed living there and had a good relationship with my neighbours.

"I would go outdoors every day, to ride my bike to the park or even just a trip to the shops on my street, but as the situation escalated and the eviction threats continued, I became withdrawn and felt increasingly unsafe. 

"I disclosed my disability and shared information about my personal circumstances, which should have been treated with respect and empathy but was instead met with contempt. I am exhausted and humiliated.” 

The Herald:

Despite multiple requests to meet to discuss the terms of the final three months of rent, amounting to £1,300, Turnberry have so far refused, Living Rent claimed. 

The tenant's union states that the property did not meet the Repairing Standard covered by the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006.

The Repairing Standard is a piece of legislation that applies to all landlords that says that a house must be ‘wind and watertight’ and have ‘the supply of water, gas or electricity, sanitation, heating and hot water in good working order.’

After Ms Gillies withheld rent in October 2022, she faced continued eviction threats despite an ongoing eviction freeze.

Turnberry have based their threats on a claim the tenant is in breach of the contract, but Ms Gillies says that the landlord has been in continuous breach of the Repairing Standard since April 2021 when they were notified of a security risk in the form of a leaky window that also did not lock properly which remained unfixed for the last 22 months of her tenancy. 

Levi Mitchell, member defence representative for Living Rent said: “What Audrey has had to go through is unacceptable.

"To threaten to throw someone out of their home during an eviction ban is shocking behaviour, but to threaten to do it after sustained negligence when it comes to repair is completely appalling." 

"Living Rent is here today to stand with Audrey and to ensure that Audrey is not forced into an unrealistic and endangering repayment plan during a cost of living crisis.”

The Herald approached Turnberry for comment.