Call for tighter PRS restrictions to prevent tenants being ‘edged into poverty’

Living-Rent-CampaignCampaigners have called for the reintroduction of private rent controls as new figures reveal a massive increase in rents in Scotland’s biggest cities.

New statistics released this week by Citylets, show that rents in Glasgow have increased faster than anywhere else in Scotland, up by 9.2 per cent on last year.

Edinburgh has the dubious honour of being a close second worst, with average increases of 8.3 per cent since last year and 5.9 per cent in Aberdeen – the rates in Dundee had dropped by 0.4 per cent.

Now the Living Rent Campaign is pushing for the re-introduction of rent controls as it argues that high living costs are gradually pushing more tenants into poverty.

Lindsay Conn, of the campaign’s Glasgow branch, said tenants needed to “speak out” for affordable, secure and flexibile housing.

She said: “The rise in the cost of renting in Glasgow during the first quarter of this year comes on the heels of a fall in average earnings of 12 per cent in the city last year. Private tenants are being edged into poverty while living in properties that do not offer a dignified degree of security or flexibility of housing.

“These trends highlight the very real need for a system of rent controls to be introduced in Scotland and it is crucial that the Scottish Government takes action to safeguard tenants from further unfair and unaffordable increases in rental costs in Glasgow and across the country.”

A report released last month by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation revealed the extent of poverty in the private rented sector, with the proportion of people classed as living in poverty who rent privately up from 11 per cent to 29 per cent over the last decade.

The Scottish Government is currently consulting on private renting in Scotland.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We will shortly be publishing further details proposals for a new private tenancy. The aim of this is to improve security for tenants whilst providing appropriate safeguards for landlords, lenders and investors.

“This builds on our initial consultation last year, which received over 2500 responses. The details of our proposals will be finalised when a Bill is laid in Parliament this Autumn.”

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