Big rents rise adds to cost of living squeeze
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threaten to put people at risk of losing their home.
He said: “It is not the fault of renters that there is a massive shortage of housing. They shouldn’t face homelessness because of a failure of successive governments to build enough affordable homes.”
Mr Lang added private renters were the largest group who contacted the charity for help last year. “We already know that a great many families are struggling day-to-day to keep a roof over their heads and rent rises like these will hurt those already living on a knife-edge,” he added.
The figures are based on advertised rents for new lets and do not reflect changes in rents for existing tenants. Official ONS statistics suggest rents across Scottish private rented households have risen at less than half the rate in England.
But Scottish Labour’s housing spokeswoman, Pauline McNeill, said the new figures highlighted the “chronic need” to introduce rent controls and start building more housing.
She said: “Many families are being forced into the private rented sector because they can’t afford a mortgage, yet the levels of rent mean they are unable to save for a deposit, trapping them in a cycle of despair they are unable to escape.”
A new private residential tenancy is due to be introduced in Scotland on December 1. This has been designed to give greater protection against unreasonable rent increases.
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We have taken action to ensure the law is strengthened, including measures to address excessive rents where appropriate.
“Importantly, tenants will be able to refer rent increases for adjudication without fear of their tenancy being ended. And it will introduce the ability for local authorities to apply to have areas designated as ‘rent pressure zones’, which will be a valuable tool where rents are rising significantly.” NICOLA Sturgeon has signalled a thaw in relations with Theresa May over Brexit, but said “substantial” progress is still required to avoid a constitutional crisis in the spring.
After a 45-minute meeting with the Prime Minister in Downing Street, the First Minister said she felt more hopeful of reaching agreement on the main Brexit legislation.
Ms Sturgeon has called the EU (Withdrawal) Bill a “power grab”, as it would see 111 devolved powers