Local MSP Jackie Baillie has called for the ban rip off rent rises -; and blasted the Scottish Government for backing rogue landlords instead of hard-pressed tenants
There are 2000 private renting households in West Dunbartonshire and 5000 in Argyll and Bute and Jackie is backing Scottish Labour proposals to stop tenants being exploited by landlords imposing excessive rent hikes.
The Dumbarton MSP said that the plans would cap how much rent can rise, not set the starting level of rent, meaning that tenants can budget for rent rises once a year without the worry that it would be unreasonable.
However the SNP voted to block Scottish Labour’s plans during a debate on housing earlier this month.
The number of homes in the private rented sector living in poverty has more than doubled in a decade to over 100,000, with one in four Scots who live in poverty living in the private rented sector.
Some parts of Scotland have seen rents rise by as much as 40% in the last 4 years.
Jackie accused the Scottish Government of backing rogue landlords over tenants, and has pointed to the Scottish Government’s own Expert Group on Welfare recommending a rent cap earlier this year as proof that it is time to reform the market.
“Too many families in Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Helensburgh are living paycheque to paycheque. If the car breaks down or an unexpected bill drops through the letterbox they are in real trouble.
“The last thing 7000 people renting in Argyll and Bute and West Dunbartonshire need is a bad landlord exploiting them with a huge rent increase.
“That is why I voted to ban rip off rent rises -; good landlords would have nothing to worry about from these proposals, but they would stop bad landlords hiking up rents on unsuspecting tenants.
“But the SNP have now voted against this plan three times, despite their own expert welfare group recommending rent caps. Only Scottish Labour are willing to reform the market in Scotland to give Scots in the private rented sector some security and peace of mind