Campaign for rent controls in Scotland launches new bid

 

A tenants’ union have launched a new campaign calling for the introduction of a rent control system in Scotland.

 

The Rent Controls Scotland Needs campaign, set up by Living Rent and think tank Common Weal, is hoping to put pressure on the Scottish government to introduce a rent control system where rises would be attached to an affordability index.

 

Localised rent controls, where rent price rises are capped and limited to once a year, can be introduced in Scotland under the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016. But campaigners argue that a loophole in the system means the date when the first rent increase can be enforced in a tenancy could be within months of a tenant moving in.

 

They also say the system does not take into account that average rent prices in Scotland are already too high.

 

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The Scottish rental affordability index which would keep rents below 25% of a tenant’s income, the percentage Living Rent considers to be affordable.

 

The campaign also wants to see a Scottish living rent commission established that would act as an umbrella body and a centre of expertise and regulation in the private rented sector.

 

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Gordon Maloney, the co-author of the report and a member of Living Rent, says: “The Scottish Government urgently needs to take action. Tenants can’t wait. Rent Pressure Zones are not working, but the current situation is simply not sustainable. If we are serious about ensuring affordable, decent housing for everyone in Scotland, then we need proper rent controls now.”

 

Robin McAlpine, of Common Weal, added: “We need effective rent controls to tip the balance back in favour of tenants.”

 

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25th February 2019