'Dramatic increases' in private sector rents underline need for rent controls, says Labour MSP

New statistics showing “dramatic increases” in private sector rents underline the need for emergency rent controls, a Labour MSP has insisted.

Katy Clark, who represents West Scotland, highlighted figures showing private rents for two-bedroom properties across Scotland have increased by 25.1 per cent since 2010.

Over the past year, average two-bed rents have increased above the UK CPI inflation rate of 1.5 per cent in ten out of 18 areas of Scotland.

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The largest hikes were 7.1 per cent in West Dunbartonshire and 6.8 per cent in the Ayrshires.

Rising rents underline need for controls, a Labour MSP has said. Pic: Ian Georgeson

Lothian and Greater Glasgow have seen cumulative increases in average rents above the rate of inflation between 2010 and 2021 across all property sizes.

Scottish Labour backs a Fair Rents Bill that would see prices capped in the private sector.

The Scottish Government agreed to implement rent controls as part of the SNP-Green cooperation agreement, but Ms Clark said no timetable has been given on the delivery of this legislation.

She said: “Tenants cannot wait years down the line for prices to be capped. Rents have continued to rise during a global pandemic when people have struggled most.

“Our broken and imbalanced housing model has led to extraordinary rent increases whilst people’s wages have stagnated.

“There is nothing to suggest these trends will reverse and no reason why action on this must wait until later in the Parliament.

“This is a matter of political will and urgency and I call on the Scottish Government to pass emergency legislation that will protect tenants now.”

The Scottish Government has been approached for comment.

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