Everyone is talking about the cost of living – bills, food, transport – but the cost of rent is by far the largest single cost for most people.
In many places in Scotland rent is just too high. Rent increases in Aberdeen in particular are out of control, with 10-15% annual rent increases. Prices are forcing families to move and breaking community ties.
We believe that people should be able to challenge unfair rent hikes in areas where rents are unaffordably high.
Rent controls used to exist in Scotland and are common in Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands.
The bedroom tax and cuts to housing benefit are allegedly designed to reduce the cost of welfare but hit the poorest hardest. Controlling the cost of renting in the first place is a fairer solution.
The Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 did nothing to address the cost of private renting. We should pilot the idea of rent controls in the areas under most pressure.