Landlord News

Scottish Government Consulting on Rent Controls

Emily Morley - June 12, 2019

The Scottish Government is consulting on introducing rent controls north of the border, in a bid to protect private tenants from soaring rent prices.

The Scottish Labour Party has proposed a bill to protect private tenants, by introducing measures to limit rent price hikes and to increase the availability of information about rent levels.

Proposed by Pauline McNeill MSP, the Party said that its Mary Barbour Bill would introduce a new points-based system to enforce fair rent prices.

The main purpose of the bill is to cap rent prices at 1% above inflation, with provisions to allow ministers to adjust this index if interest rates were to suddenly rise.

Respondents to the consultation are being asked to consider whether the rent officer should be restricted to only decreasing or maintaining existing rents when tenants lodge an appeal, as opposed to the existing practice of being able to increase rent prices.

The consultation also suggests that the rent being charged should be a mandatory disclosure to the landlord registration scheme and any changes should be updated.

Speaking at Scottish First Minister’s Questions last week, the Scottish Labour Party Leader, Richard Leonard, said: “We have seen the return of private landlordism and rents have soared whilst wages have stagnated. According to the Scottish Government’s own figures, over 40% of all children living in the private rented sector are now living in poverty. That is 60,000 children.

“We think that private rent rises should be capped and controlled. So Nicola Sturgeon has a choice, will she take the side of rogue landlords and a broken housing market? Or she can back Labour’s plans and back our Mary Barbour Bill.

”The consultation will run until 6th August 2019. The full consultation document can be accessed online here: https://www.parliament.scot/S5MembersBills/20190513_Final_Version.pdf

Do you support Scottish Labour’s plans?