Presenting her Programme for Government at Holyrood yesterday, Nicola Sturgeon announced that the Scottish Government would bring in new laws to allow local rent controls in “rent pressure” areas. John has welcomed the announcement, which is a big early victory for the Living Rent Campaign, of which he was one of the first MSP supporters.
The rent control measures will be included in a Private Tenancies Bill, which will also provide opportunities to make other improvements to the security, affordability and quality of housing in the private rented sector.
“I very much welcome the fact that the Scottish Government will join the growing voices across Scotland in calling for rent controls. I await the detail of what exactly how these new controls will be implemented. An opinion poll found that 60% of the population supported some form of rent controls, let us hope that the final proposals will not disappoint them.”
“That the Scottish Government is willing to implement some form of rent control is testament to the strong campaign ran by the Living Rent Campaign, amongst others. The issue of high rents is not merely an issue for the central belt and urban areas. Across the Highlands average rents are higher than the Scottish average and rising fast than anywhere else except Glasgow. It is vital that we have truly ‘local’ rent controls to tackle local rent problems.
“Rent controls are of course by no means a silver bullet to tackle the issues facing the Highlands, and Scotland, but they are a vital step in bringing about fairer housing.”
You can read more in John’s article for the Living Rent Campaign, The Highlands and Islands need rent controls.