Glasgow Labour MSP Anne McTaggart has called for a ban on rip off rent rises – and blasted the Scottish Government for backing rogue landlords instead of hard-pressed tenants
There are 42,000 private renting households in Glasgow and Ms McTaggart backs Scottish Labour proposals to stop tenants being exploited by landlords imposing excessive rent hikes.
The Glasgow MSP said that the plans would cap how much rent can rise, not set the level of rent initially, meaning that tenants can budget for rent rises once a year without the worry that it would be unreasonable.
However the SNP voted to block Scottish Labour’s plans during a debate on housing earlier this month.
The number of homes in the private rented sector living in poverty has more than doubled in a decade to over 100,000, with one in four Scots who live in poverty living in the private rented sector.
Some parts of Scotland have seen rents rise by as much as 40% in the last 4 years.
Ms McTaggart accused the Scottish Government of backing rogue landlords over tenants, and has pointed to the Scottish Government’s own Expert Group on Welfare recommending a rent cap earlier this year as proof that it is time to reform the market.
Anne McTaggart MSP said: “Too many families across Glasgow are living paycheque to paycheque. If the car breaks down or an unexpected bill drops through the letterbox they are in real trouble.
“The last thing 42,000 renters in Glasgow need is a bad landlord exploiting them with a huge rent increase.
“That is why I voted to ban rip off rent rises – good landlords would have nothing to worry about from these proposals, but they would stop bad landlords hiking up rents on unsuspecting tenants.
“But the SNP have now voted against this plan three times, despite their own expert welfare group recommending rent caps. Only Scottish Labour are willing to reform the market in Scotland to give Scots in the private rented sector some security and peace of mind.”
The Scottish Government’s own Expert Working Group on Welfare recommended rent caps
“We believe it is important to strike the right balance between supporting a well-functioning private rental market and preventing excessive rents that can arise through pressures in the private rental sector in areas of high demand and low supply. This means looking at the nature of tenancies, for example, giving tenants in the private sector longer-term tenancies than generally exist at present, as well as building into tenancy agreements that rents should increase in line with inflation but not above it, at least for the duration of a tenancy.”
Some parts of Scotland have seen rents rise by 40% in the last 4 years
Poverty in the private rented sector
“The number of households in poverty in the PRS has doubled in the last decade to 120,000, while the number in social housing has almost halved to 190,000.”
“At the start of the 2000s, poverty in Scotland was predominantly in the social rented sector but this is no longer the case. Two fifths of households in poverty live in social housing, compared to three fifths a decade ago. Meanwhile a quarter live in the PRS, up from 1 in 10.”