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Politicians ask: “If landlords won’t lower rents now, when will they?”

The Green Party says the fact that some landlords increased rents during the Coronavirus pandemic shows the need for rent controls.

The Scottish wing of the party - which is in a ruling coalition north of the border with the Scottish National Party - claims that new statistics show the cost of renting a two-bedroom flat increased above inflation in 10 of 18 local markets across Scotland over the past year.

A statement from the Scottish Greens says a national system of rent controls is set to be delivered as a “key part” of the coalition and “as part of several measures to enhance tenants’ rights.”

The party’s Scottish housing spokesperson Ariane Burgess comments: “It is astonishing that rents continued to rise in the midst of a pandemic, when demand was low and people were struggling with reduced income. In most parts of Scotland, those rises were above inflation.

“If landlords won’t lower rents in these conditions, when will they? 

“These figures show that we cannot leave something as fundamental as people’s homes to market forces. That’s why I’m proud the Scottish Greens will bring rent controls back to Scotland."

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  • George Dawes

    Scotland is rapidly turning into a no go area for anyone who wants to do business thanks to their dreadful politicians , shame as it's a beautiful part of Britain


    The Greens make the SNP look sensible!

    The 2017 legislation is to blame for the higher rents in Scotland, so their solution is more legislation!


    It will be a communist country soon. Hellhole....funded by London.

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    Rents are going up because fewer properties are available to rent. Landlords are either passing on the Section 24 costs to their tenants, selling their properties or moving into FHL. Private landlords provide a service that fills the gap left by the absence of council housing. More controls will lead to fewer landlords and properties available for long term rent.

    Everyone, it seems, hates landlords, but try renting a property without one!

  • Neil Moores

    Rent controls are obviously required as rents have gone up, mainly because there is a desperate shortage of property. With rent control we will have lots of happy tenants…….and lots more homeless because the supply will diminish further.
    We also need food price control. If greedy supermarkets can put their prices up during a pandemic when will they not? We need to tell Tesco’s (other supermarkets also apply) that they should sell food for less than it costs them to supply. That will do the trick, unless they then choose not to supply it because of the losses.
    It’s strange how it is only homes that political parties think should be subsidised by the businesses that provide them. If we take the rent control route it should apply across the board. Communism here we come!
    Another thought……why don’t governments build more properties so that the demand for private rental diminishes. Can’t afford it and can’t afford the losses they would make supplying it, which would make taxes have to rise. And if governments can out taxes up during a pandemic when won’t they?!!!

     G romit

    ...not only price controls for food, but why gas/electricity, water?
    Communism here we come, comrade!.

     G romit

    How is the new EPC "C" rating going to be paid for if not through higher rents?

    Maybe if Government stopped constantly increasing Landlords costs, that maybe rents wouldn't ge rising so quickly.


    Spot on Neil! Perfect answer.


    You forgot to mention petrol and diesel prices increasing rapidly during the pandemic. Can we have price controls there as well please.


    some of the inflationary pressures are from public sector demanding year on year increases eg council tax ved nic corporation tax etc

    start cutting those

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    Let's hope the Levelling Up & Housing Ministry are taking note - these rent rises come after the very reforms that are being considered for the English housing market. follow this with EPC C and the result will be catastrophic.

  • icon

    I don't put tents up for incumbent tenants and I lowered the rent on my commercial property during Covid and I let my student tenants leave early without having to pay rent to the end of the year. I am sick of being told I don't do enough and have already initiated my exit plan.

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    Absolutely hilarious. Every time the greens open their mouths they remind us why they must never get near the levers of power. They consistently demonstrate their ignorance of how markets work, housing in particular. Section24 was their idea, stolen by the Liberal Tories, yet even with the proven results of this policy they still refuse to see the obvious. They introduce rent-increasing policies then wonder why rents have gone up, all without any self-awareness. Very funny - or it would be if it wasn’t so serious.


    greens run scotland england and germany

  • John Ahmed

    More Stupidity from MPs who are simply trying to create votes whilst not thinking of the damage. Its time this type of nonsense stopped.
    Where is political representation? Its time all landlords formed a proper argument to all this rubbish from weak stupid MPs who have not got a shred of sense.

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    Rent controls for Scotland could make it the homeless capital of GB, if it isn't already, the greens, do they have a brain cell, any of them ?


    The standard response from the greens is the houses will still be there once landlords have sold up. Trouble is, the majority of tenants can’t or don’t want to buy. The argument goes that houses will become more affordable for those wishing to buy. However the fall in house prices will cause a lot of pain to owner occupiers too. There are a lot more of these than tenants waiting to buy.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    The Greens haven't got the 1st clue about business.
    How can a business decide to lower its costs due to external circumstances ? Costs haven't lowered for landlords ( they always increase, partly due to Bureaucratic demands by tenant groups )

  • icon

    So, rents for a particular type of property were actually behind inflation in 8 out of 18 areas in Scotland. There has been a recent scramble in some cities due to a larger than usual student rush, exacerbated by some stock transfer to holiday lets (probably due to the new tenancy regime and the increasing hassle of private lets coupled with high demand for holiday homes due to staycation). Rents in Aberdeen have fallen year on year since 2015 to levels last seen in 2006, hopefully the trough has been reached and rents will recover before controls come in.

    Beware England, security of tenure is the first step towards rent control! History shows what happened to the private rental sector when rent controls applied.

    On our household, the SNP has been referred to as the Scottish Communist Party for a while now. They’re not keen on individual ownership of land and large houses either.

  • Gary
    • Gary
    • 18 November 2021 09:42 AM

    A rent increase was inevitable and I think it’ll continue. Tax hikes for landlords, tenant fee bans and the heavy weighting of the law in the tenants favour is making buy to let investment expensive and high risk. This drives landlords to increase rents (as any business would) and as some landlords sell up .. less properties available to rent also drives rents up. What did people expect?

  • icon

    I didn't put rents up during covid either. I allowed one couple to underpay for two months and defer that rent at the beginning of the first lockdown which they still owe plus another two months rent from more recently. I am now regarded as an overdraft provider when they are short. I also allowed several of my students to leave because of the lockdown earlier this year. i then had to find new non student tenants with the added council tax problems which caused a tremendous amount of work due to the flood of enquiries despite the fact that I was only offering around 4 month tenancies.
    I accepted one from the local authority housing organisation who had his deposit and first months rent paid by them. He then paid 1 months rent two months later, having already used up his deposit and left owing a further months rent and all his utility bills, having caused much unrest and unpleasantness with the other residents.
    How can we be accused of putting up rents and not supporting our tenants to our own detriment with no support from anyone!
    Where do all these politicians and local authorities get their fact from?

  • icon

    command economy always leads to shortages--why will politicians never learn--answer--they are too dumb

  • Suzy OShea

    Terry Sullivan,

    These idiotic politicians don't care to consider market forces because they are not subject to them, even in years when tax revenue drops, like the years since brexit. They just invest new taxes and pretend to pay them into urgent and popular causes like social care for the elderly.

    What has not been said is that in central areas of many British cities rents fell by as much as 30% because of furloughing and loss of entertainment due to the shut downs. With a gradual return to nearly normal conditions there is now more demand than supply so of course rents are starting to regain some. Of the ground lost due to tenants having fled the areas during the shut down.

    They still have not reached pre-shut down levels though. This is the inaccuracy that thrives when politicians only concentrate on rises without looking at the full picture.

  • Matthew Payne

    Thats the (scary) problem with most politicians, they are legislating on subjects they know nothing about. It's 10x worse with the Greens as they have only one specialist area of expertise.

    Being elected somehow gives them some air of legitimacy and expertise overnight however, whereas the rest of us have had to spend 20+ years developing ours.


    They have NO expertise.

    They oppose nuclear power, motorways, diesel cars - all of which are greener than the alternatives they promote.

    They want to shrink the economy and take us back to pre industrial levels of poverty, disease etc.

  • icon

    May I Say, how do such idiots get into parliament?
    The answer to their stupid statement is very simple.
    How can landlords private or otherwise. Rent places for people to live. Without being able to charge enough money to cover ever increasing legal requirements. And earn a reasonable reward for providing a vital service to society.

  • Daniela Provvedi

    I don't own property in Scotland, so cannot comment. Most of my properties are in London.
    What I will say is that I HAVE NOT increased any rent during the pandemic, in fact I gave them all a 30% discount for 6 months. (One property had a 30% disc. for 13 months!)
    Another LL bashing bu££sh*t story. Sick of it.

  • icon
    • 19 November 2021 11:09 AM

    And these useless incompetent morons are in parliament and are reproducing.


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