Greens call for bold reform to bring down rents

Maggie Chapman
Maggie Chapman

The Scottish Greens have welcomed the recommendations made by think tank Common Weal on reforms to tenancies and rent in Scotland’s private rented sector.

Published yesterday with the Living Rent Campaign, the report outlines five key policy recommendations for creating a living rent in Scotland.

Co-convenor and housing spokesperson Maggie Chapman has urged the Scottish Government to consider all policy options available and to not shy away from desperately needed regulation of rent levels as the new Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill goes before Parliament. The Scottish Government’s Bill includes provision for temporary, local rent controls.

The Scottish Greens passed policy on supporting a points-based system for setting rent levels, as is currently done in the Netherlands, at their conference at Glasgow’s SECC last weekend. The points-based system would see rents set at the beginning of a tenancy according to the location, size and condition of a property, and rent rises limited thereafter.

Maggie Chapman, Scottish Green MSP candidate for the North East, said: “Profiteering landlords are threatened by the prospect of fair rents. The new Private Housing Tenancies Bill gives us a chance to make tenancies safe and affordable for people, but there is a real danger that the government will prioritise private profit over proper reform in response to lobbying.

“Tenants are being pushed into poverty by Scotland’s rising rent levels, and simply limiting increases isn’t enough. The Scottish Greens recognise that the huge numbers of people forced into the private rented sector need proper regulation on rent cost, which is why we passed policy at our conference last weekend in support of a points-based system for setting rent levels.

“A well-regulated, fit-for-purpose sector is vital for protecting tenants from insecurity and poverty. It would also be better for the many decent landlords whose interest is in providing good housing, not in reaping the most profits at a huge cots to tenants. I strongly urge the Scottish Government to be bold - Scotland’s tenants need radical reform now.”

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