The Covid 19 emergency has created the biggest economic crisis in living memory. Thousands of Scots are furloughed and on reduced income, whilst many more are at risk of becoming unemployed.
Renters will disproportionately contribute to those numbers, as they are more likely to work in the insecure precarious jobs most affected by this crisis.
Scottish Labour this week lodged their Fair Rents (Scotland) Bill, which seeks to protect private sector tenants by introducing measures to limit rent increases, give tenants a new right to apply for a fair rent to be determined, and increase the availability of public information about private rent levels in Scotland. This legislation was important before the Covid 19 outbreak, and is even more crucial now.
The proposed bill is the result of 18 months of work by Scottish Labour MSP Pauline McNeill and the Govan Law Centre in Glasgow.
Commenting, MSP for Dumbarton Constituency, Jackie Baillie, said:
“Recent years have seen the percentage of people’s incomes being spent on their housing costs rise and rise.
“Young people and people in low paid precarious work have been the worst affected by these increases over the years and now they are going to have to bear the brunt of the economic fallout caused by Covid 19.
“It’s vital that we regulate the Private Rented Sector to protect these people from unfair rent rises.
Scottish Labour Leader Richard Leonard MSP added:
“Addressing housing inequality is one of my main priorities as leader of Scottish Labour.
“Good quality, affordable housing dramatically improves the life outcomes of people in everything from health to education, that’s why this legislation is so desperately needed.
“This policy was designed with the radical traditions of Mary Barbour in mind, traditions of opposing exploitive housing practices and protecting ordinary people.”