Glasgow City Council urged to declare rent crisis
Glasgow City Council will be asked to declare a rent crisis next week and let tenants reform the private rented sector after figures revealed the rising costs paid by private tenants across the city.
Scottish Greens councillor Christy Mearns will present a motion calling on the council to set up a tenant-led commission, which would make recommendations on reforms needed to address the rent issues faced by Glasgow residents.
Data released by the Scottish Government last week revealed that average monthly price of a two-bed property in Glasgow is now £794, up from £564 in 2010 – a rise of almost 41%.
The Scottish Greens are urging renters to contact their local councillors calling for their support on the motion.
The council previously backed introducing a Rent Pressure Zone, however, this has not progressed as the council does not have access to the data required in law before one can be introduced.
The motion states the zones are “fundamentally flawed” and there is a “strong need to consider alternative protections for tenants”.
In Greater Glasgow, average rents have increased above the rate of inflation between 2010 and 2020 across all property sizes.
The average cost of a one bed property was £437 per month in 2010 but is now £585.
A recent council report revealed around 20% of all housing in the city is in the private rented sector, more than doubling over the last decade. The report stated that this has “concentrated housing wealth and constrained demand”.
Councillor Mearns said: “The evidence is clear that in Glasgow renters are paying more, year after year, for often substandard private housing and without the kind of security that’s common in most other European countries.
“Three years ago, the council voted on a cross-party basis to progress a Rent Pressure Zone for the city, but it’s clear that even this limited form of rent control can’t be implemented.
“The council lacks the powers to protect private tenants, even during a global pandemic when the need couldn’t be stronger.
“Scottish Greens want all parties on the council to come together and agree, on the basis of evidence, that Glasgow’s renters are in crisis and we need to give them a leading role in driving vital reforms.”
Councillor Mearns will put forward the motion at next Thursday’s full council meeting, asking councillors to note rents “continue to rise at unacceptable levels”.
It will also ask members to consider the council “lacks the range of powers needed to tackle these interrelated issues of increasingly concentrated housing wealth, excessive rent rises, housing standards, poverty and housing insecurity”.
The motion requests the council writes to the housing minister asking for further action from the Scottish Government to ensure “effective regulation of the private rented sector” so that it provides “secure, affordable, low carbon, high quality housing for tenants”.