20 November 2019

New figures released today by the Scottish Government have shown that in the past year rent costs in the private rental sector have increased far above inflation.

The statistics show that at a Scotland level that there was a 2.4 per-cent increase in monthly rent for an average two-bedroom house between 2018 and 2019 and monthly rents rose on all other property sizes including by 3.7 per-cent on houses with four bedrooms.

These hikes in rent are far above the UK CPI inflation rate of 1.7 per-cent in the year to September 2019.

The figures also reveal that certain local areas were hit harder by rent hikes than others.

The Greater Glasgow area saw an average rise in rent rates between 2018 and 2019 of 5.3 per-cent which places it 2.9 percentage points above the average increase across Scotland and a substantial 3.6 percentage points above inflation.

With many low-income families being forced to rent privately and some 50,000 young children living in severe poverty in the private renting sector, these increases in rent are bound to hit the most vulnerable hardest.

Commenting on these figures Scottish Labour spokesperson for Communities and Equalities Pauline McNeill said:

“With so many low-income families and people living in privately rented homes these hikes in rent represent a genuine danger of increasing the levels of poverty and deprivation in our communities. “It’s time for the SNP to admit that Rent Pressure Zones are not fit for purpose. "These statistics show that we need meaningful intervention in the private rented sector to stop inflation-busting rent increases causing uncertainty and risking poverty for tenants.

“In contrast to the hubris of the SNP, Scottish Labour propose real change.

"Our proposed Mary Barbour Law will cap rents and protect tenants from unfair landlords.

"Only Labour will provide a route out of the costly private rental system by offering affordable social housing to those in need.

“When Labour wins, the tenants of Scotland win.”
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