Private renters increasingly squeezed into overcrowded properties, finds Scottish Labour

The number of overcrowded households in the private rented sector has more than doubled since 2012, according to new analysis from Scottish Labour.

A property is considered overcrowded if there are insufficient bedrooms to meet the occupants’ requirements.

The latest available figures from the Scottish Household Survey show there were 23,000 overcrowded properties in Scotland in 2016, compared with 10,000 in 2012 – a rise of 130%.

Overcrowded under bedroom standard (1000s)
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
10 14 14 16 23

Labour analysis shows that the number of households in the private rented sector that are overcrowded has more than doubled in the last five years

Scottish Labour is putting forward plans for a ‘Mary Barbour law’, named after the 1915 Glasgow rent strikes leader and political activist, as part of an effort to ensure proper standards and keep prices down.

Pauline McNeill MSP

Scottish Labour’s housing spokesperson, Pauline McNeill, said: “More and more of Scotland’s private renters are finding themselves squeezed into unsuitable accommodation. We cannot continue to ignore conditions in the fastest growing part of the housing sector.

“The private rented sector has grown dramatically in last 15 years but our laws haven’t kept pace to support tenants.

“Renting should be a secure and viable long term housing option, the means to live in a location that you choose and a way to save up for a deposit if you want to buy a home. However, for too many people it is none of these things.

“That’s why Labour is proposing a ‘Mary Barbour law’ to reform the private rented sector, so no one is overpaying for an overcrowded property.”