IT seems like the simplest thing in the world, to create a home. A place of sanctuary for ourselves or with others. To enjoy, to relax, to be who we want to be behind the privacy of our own doors. Somewhere to shelter from the storm and wait for the sun to rise each day.

Switch on any TV set and we are bombarded with that dream too. Uber-rich eccentrics building their own castles or renovating old mills. Celebrity chefs in the cleanest, clutter-free home kitchens you’ll ever see, some of which are bigger than many tenement flats.

We’re bombarded with images of a lifestyle we should somehow expect in our day-to-day from our monthly wage: that latte, yoga-infused, trouble-free existence where we live in harmony with empathetic property owners.

While that may be true for some, or at least a variation of it, the realities for so many others are nothing like the saccharine-sweet version landlord lobbyists would have you believe.

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At almost every stage the system is still stacked in favour of the owners, including those who are looking to make a profit by charging monthly rents that should frankly make even the most capitalist-thinking owner blush.

When is enough, enough? It seems never in the sector where the desire to keep hiking up rent levels is more akin to a game of Monopoly where the aim is to make it impossible for the other players to continue rather than foster a long-term relationship.

All of which, of course, led to the vital introduction of a temporary emergency rent freeze to protect vulnerable tenants during the cost of living crisis by my Scottish Green colleague Patrick Harvie in his role as housing minister.

That lifeline undoubtedly helped keep a roof above people’s heads and stopped them from being made homeless, going broke or both. It provided vital protections while we are developing the new deal for tenants that is coming, but as it comes to a statutory end, it was absolutely worthwhile.

The National: Council rent.

In the weeks ahead we will be moving further, with the announcement of permanent new protections and controls just around the corner.

At the heart of it will be a system of rent controls to stop the budget-busting hikes too many have experienced that protect the needs of the tenant while ensuring landlords can still operate their businesses efficiently, with the responsibilities that they should always have been expected to live up to.

But while finances and rent levels rightly command the most attention, it’s not the transactions that transform a flat or house into a home. It’s what we do with a property once we are in it. The curtains or blinds we hang, the flowers or plants we choose, the rugs and the cushions.

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For property owners, the first thing we might expect to do is paint the walls in a colour that suits them or hang a shelf for our books or precious photographs.

That most likely is through choice, but in many cases, it is also necessary to improve the look and feel. Yet for too long these seemingly simple acts have been denied to tenants or resulted in forfeiture of those same deposits regardless of whether it made the residence more marketable.

Change a carpet? Forget it. Sort out that damp patch? In your dreams. A lot of people or families might wish to have a pet for company or support for mental health. Again, something long forbidden in the draconian world of landlordism, as if it might somehow cause the world to end overnight. All the small things that make the difference between living in a home, or some sterile bunkhouse with no heart and soul.

I’m of a generation that has encountered such things first-hand, which is why I am also proud now to be part of the political movement that is doing something about it, thanks to the forthcoming new deal for tenants, which will finally see people getting a fair hand.

The National: Living Rent protest

Ensuring a home can be just that, a home. Where the colours of life can bloom, the joy of life can flourish, and where people can expect a standard of living that keeps them warm, safe, and secure.

In time protections may be strengthened further, perhaps with a regulator, so that Scotland’s place leading the UK with the most robust set of tenants’ rights anywhere in the UK can be not just preserved but built upon as the benchmark for others.

It has taken too long for Scotland to reach this point, but thanks to the Scottish Greens coming into government, and the work of campaigners across our country, we have been able to lay the groundwork for lasting and meaningful change in our cities, in our towns and in our rural settings.

I hope that the work we are doing now will help tenants for years to come. I hope that young people growing up today will grow up with the rights that previous generations have wanted but always been denied, with paint, paws and protections at their core, and Scottish Green values at their heart.

The weeks ahead will be historic ones for Scotland’s tenants and will open the door to a better future for all.