Labour has once again called for rents to be capped in Scotland after fresh data revealed rent increases were outstripping wage rises over the past five years.
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard has made no secret of his desire to control rents and limit the power of private landlords north of the border, despite concerns that it could have a negative impact on tenants.
In his keynote speech to Scottish Labour’s spring conference in March, he detailed his vision to reshape the rental sector in Scotland, including the introduction of a new “Mary Barbour law” to protect tenants.
The proposed ‘Mary Barbour law’ is named after the Red Clydeside political activist who played a leading role in the rent strikes of 1915.
Leonard outlined how his party aims to introduce a private members bill that would create a new points-based system to enforce what he considers to be fair rents. A public consultation on the measure was launched last month.
Leonard’s desire to see a rent-cap introduced is supported by Jeremy Corbyn.
Labour’s housing spokesperson Pauline McNeill MSP said: “Scotland’s housing crisis is seeing private sector rents rising faster than people’s wages, making housing even more expensive and pushing people further into poverty.
“Too many young families are caught in a vicious cycle – a lack of affordable public housing forces people to rent privately and as a result they are paying rip-off rents, which stops them saving for a deposit to buy their own home.
“Our Mary Barbour law, which I am bringing forward as a Member’s Bill, would stop this happening and give people hope that they can have secure, affordable tenancies. Only Scottish Labour has a plan for real change in the housing sector which will help the many, not the few.”