Ed­in­burgh rental costs ‘sky high’

● Al­most £900 to rent two-bed flat ● ‘Not enough af­ford­able hous­ing’

The Scotsman - - Front Page - By SCOTT MACNAB

Po­lit­i­cal lead­ers have warned Ed­in­burgh’s cost of liv­ing is be­ing pushed “sky high” due to a lack of af­ford­able hous­ing.

Rents in the city and the sur­round­ing Loth­i­ans have soared rel­a­tive to the rest of Scot­land.

A two-bed­room flat in Ed­in­burgh now costs al­most £900 a month on av­er­age com­pared to about £550 out­side the cap­i­tal. Rent costs in Ed­in­burgh have climbed 33.7 per cent in the past seven

The soar­ing cost of liv­ing in Ed­in­burgh and the Loth­i­ans is out­strip­ping the rest of Scot­land, of­fi­cial fig­ures have shown.

The av­er­age rental cost of a two-bed­room flat now stands at al­most £900. The same type of prop­erty costs about £550 across the rest of Scot­land, on av­er­age, ex­clud­ing the cap­i­tal.

Po­lit­i­cal lead­ers say rents are be­ing “pushed sky high” be­cause of a lack of af­ford­able hous­ing.

Pri­vate rents now ac­count for about a third of all house­holds in Ed­in­burgh – roughly 140,000 city res­i­dents – af­ter num­bers soared in the years fol­low­ing the fi­nan­cial crash.

There has been a rise of 33.7 per cent in rent costs be­tween 2010-17 in Ed­in­burgh and the Loth­i­ans, the Scottish Gov­ern­ment fig­ures show, in­clud­ing a rise of 6.9 per cent be­tween 2016 and 2017. Glas­gow has also seen a 32.1 per cent since the start of the decade and 7 per cent over the year.

All other ar­eas of Scot­land are be­low the na­tional av­er­age of 19.9 per cent and 4.4 per cent re­spec­tively. Andy Wight­man, the Green MSP for the Loth­i­ans said: “Across the city of Ed­in­burgh and the Loth­ian re­gion, peo­ple are strug­gling to pay for ev­ery­day needs as the cost of ac­com­mo­da­tion soars. For the av­er­age res­i­dent, this means that 45 per cent of their salary goes di­rectly to land­lords be­fore any other house­hold bills are paid.”

The Tories want to see greater use of brown­field de­vel­op­ments and the cre­ation of more new towns to ad­dress the is­sue.

The av­er­age cost of rent­ing a two bed­room prop­erty in Ed­in­burgh and the Loth­i­ans jumped by more than £50 in­side a year from £831 in 2016 to about £888 last year. At the top end of the prop­erty mar­ket, rents have reached £975 for a two-bed­room flat in the cap­i­tal. The sta­tis­tics are based on ad­ver­tised rents for new lets and don’t in­clude changes in rents for ex­ist­ing ten­ants.

For a one-bed­room flat, it now costs more than £700 to rent a one-bed­room flat in the cap­i­tal on av­er­age – up from £520 at the start of the year.

Adam Lang of Shel­ter Scot­land, said: “Rent in­creases of th­ese amounts will hurt those who are al­ready liv­ing on a knife-edge. We al­ready know that a great many fam­i­lies are strug­gling day-to-day to keep a roof over their heads. Af­ford­abil­ity was the sin­gle big­gest rea­son peo­ple came to Shel­ter Scot­land with last year and pri­vate renters are the big­gest group who con­tact Shel­ter Scot­land for help.”

Min­is­ters have al­ready in­tro­duced new pri­vate res­i­den­tial ten­an­cies which will in­clude a limit on one rent in­crease in a year, three months-no­tice of any in­crease and an op­por­tu­nity to ap­peal.

0 Pri­vate rents now ac­count for about a third of all house­holds in Ed­in­burgh

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