Richard Leonard pledges to halt unfair rents

Mr Leonard will use his first keynote speech at the Scottish conference to unveil his vision to end the housing crisis. Picture: PA
Mr Leonard will use his first keynote speech at the Scottish conference to unveil his vision to end the housing crisis. Picture: PA
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Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard will today pledge to reform the private housing sector by restricting rent rises.

Mr Leonard will use his first keynote speech at the Scottish conference to unveil his vision to end the housing crisis.

Labour will introduce a “Mary Barbour law” in honour of the Red Clydesider who led the fight against rent rises by Glasgow landlords during the Great War.

The member’s bill will propose a points-based system to impose fair rents, linking rents to average wages to ensure they are affordable. Tenants would be given the power to challenge unfair rents or submit rent reduction claims. All privately rented properties would also have to meet standards for health, safety and energy efficiency.

Mr Leonard will also outline how local government pension funds can be used to boost house building. He will say: “Tackling the scandal of homelessness, rough sleeping, soaring rents, too few affordable homes lies at the very heart of our plans to change Scotland.”