Massive rent hikes show need for rent caps - Labour

Scottish Labour has pointed to recent figures showing private sector rents are increasingly substantially over inflation to argue for the need for caps on rent increases in Scotland.

Newly revealed figures by the Scottish Government show that single renters in Glasgow can expect their rents to have increased 4.2 percent on average, double that of the current rate of inflation.

Meanwhile in the Lothians, the rent on two bedrooms properties has increased to nearly 6.5 percent, while the average four bedroom property in the Borders' rent has increased by a whopping 25.6 percent.

Overall, the rent on two bedroom properties in Scotland has risen by 21.6 percent since 2010, far outstripping wages.

Shelter Scotland has warned the growing figures are linked to Scotland's growing homelessness problem, with "a perfect storm of spiralling rents, very harsh welfare cuts and a major lack of social housing [meaning that] record numbers of people are sleeping out on the streets".

Scottish Labour’s Housing spokesperson, Pauline McNeill, added:“Almost half of all people made homeless last year due to rent arrears fell into debt with a private landlord.

“Scotland’s housing crisis is deepening, and it is clear radical action is needed to stop more people being made homeless.

“That is why the next Scottish Labour government will cap rent rises with a Mary Barbour law and build at least 12,000 new homes for social-rent every year."

The Scottish Government has previously refused to back the introduction of the law, pointing to it's implementation of Rent Pressure Zones in response.

"The new Private Residential Tenancy, that the Scottish Government introduced last year, protects tenants against sudden or excessive rent increases."

“Under the new tenancy private sector landlords can only increase rents once every 12 months and are required to give tenants three months’ notice of that. Tenants can also challenge any rent increases they consider unfair by referring it for adjudication by a rent officer."

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