Rent campaigners: 'Landlords pouring petrol on cost of living crisis'

There are calls for the Scottish Government to take action to tackle rising rental costs.

Rent campaigners: ‘Landlords pouring petrol on cost of living crisis’ iStock

The Scottish Government has been accused of failing tenants after proposals for a freeze on rents were voted down at Holyrood.

An emergency rent freeze had been called for by Scottish Labour.

But, the party’s amendment was voted down by the SNP, Scottish Greens, Scottish Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.

However, Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer indicated that the Labour proposal was not workable and would make things worse by risking a “tidal wave of evictions”.

Campaigners at Living Rent have said that landlords are “pouring petrol” on the cost of living crisis.

And they accused the Government of having failed to come up with alternative protections to prevent unaffordable increases.

Megan Bishop, secretary of Living Rent, urged ministers to take action on the issue.

“By hiking up rents, landlords are pouring petrol on the cost of living crisis,” she said.

“By voting down a rent freeze and failing to come up with any other adequate emergency protections to prevent unaffordable rent increases, the Scottish government has failed tenants.

“The Scottish Government needs to introduce protections to prevent unaffordable rent increases or face the ‘tidal wave of evictions’ they warn against, when tenants are forced to leave their home due to rent increases.”

Bishop said that plans for rent controls in 2024 are too far away when tenants are currently facing unaffordable rent increases.

And she insisted that MSPs put “political point scoring” aside and take responsibility for the “greed” of landlords.

She said: “Landlords are increasing our rents during the worst cost of living crisis in generations, despite our wages falling in real terms.

“Landlords being able to act with impunity and without a second thought to their actions plunging thousands of tenants into poverty needs to stop.

“Our housing remains unaffordable and increasingly unliveable.

“With over half (57%) of properties failing repair standards and nearly two thirds (60%) having an energy efficiency rating of D or lower, it is time that the Scottish Government regulated landlords and put tenants’ need for a home first.”

Bishop added: “MSPs need to put aside their political point scoring, take responsibility and regulate landlord’s greed.

“Though the Government has promised rent controls in 2024, this is too far away when tenants need emergency protections to prevent unaffordable rent increases now.”