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Here They Come: Rent controls to be introduced in part of the UK

Rent controls, possibly ensuring that rents do not exceed 25 per cent of household income, are poised to be introduced into part of the UK.

The deal between the Scottish National Party and the Green Party to ensure a majority government north of the border included a series of commitments which both groups of politicians say they share - with rent controls close to the top of the list.

In a document outlining issues with the support of both parties, published over the weekend, it says an objective of the new Scottish Government will be to “implement an effective national system of rent controls, enhance tenants’ rights” as well as delivering 110,000 affordable homes by 2032.”

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Green Party co-leader Lorna Slater says: “With the COP26 climate conference coming to Glasgow, Scotland is in a position show real leadership on climate. But this deal is about people as well as the planet. Together, we would deliver a new deal for tenants, giving tenants more rights and introducing rent controls to help tackle Scotland’s housing crisis.”

And Nicola Sturgeon, who remains First Minister, adds: “I am delighted that the Scottish Government has reached a ground-breaking agreement with the Scottish Green Party that meets the challenges and opportunities of our time … The agreement delivers bold policy action on pressing issues. A commitment to more affordable housing, a better deal for tenants and action to tackle poverty and inequality.”

Rent controls have been a favourite Green Party policy for several years, across the UK; the party was also influential in Scotland in pushing the SNP administration to extend the eviction ban on several occasions during the pandemic.

No details of the scale or timetable of rent controls have yet been released by the newly-linked ruling parties at Holyrood.

Under the SNP’s Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) 2016 Act, Scottish councils have had the power to ask Scottish Ministers to designate a Rent Pressure Zone. 

An RPZ is an area within which private tenants cannot have their rent raised by more than the level of the Consumer Price Index plus one per cent each year, for a duration of five years. However, few councils expressed any interest in this.

 

The Greens are now likely to demand something much more substantial.

In its manifesto for the May elections this year, the Scottish Green Party stated: “The Scottish Greens will introduce a cross-cutting goal of ensuring that housing costs represent no more than 25 per cent of a household’s income, including a points-based system of rent controls.

“The SNP’s Rent Pressure Zones have failed. It’s time for proper rent controls. Tenants unions will be absolutely key to all this, so we need to ensure all private tenants are aware and have access to one, as well be informed about their rights and welfare entitlement.”

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  • George Dawes

    So it begins , looks like Australia and Scotland are the test beds for our future

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    The day private property became state controlled. Do we really have more freedoms than Chinese and Russian people anymore. It seems that terrible thing we’re told is communism is the new British way of life. But that said not unexpected.

     
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    It feels like Scotland and North Korea are linked now! Should try living here.

     
  • Keith  Johnson

    Just means landlords will not take anyone on a low income, and if the books don't balance landlords will sell

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    That’s my thought too.. it’s just a backwards sum calculation. Can’t afford it.. you can’t get it. No different from mortgage stress tests or what most good landlords and agents do anyway

     
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    Agreed.

    A low earning but frugal living potential tenant will be denied a property which can be rented to a higher earner with a profligate lifestyle who will be more likely to default but even then the more deserving poorer applicant will be denied the tenancy.

    No surprise here as every policy supported by the SNP and their even loonier little green helpers will end up being counter productive and hurt those they think they're helping!

     
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    So Tenants only need bad jobs or Benefit, Then get rents for one quarter of that.
    Should this criteria be applied to Mortgage lenders, don’t worry about how much the property costs, just pay 25% of your income.

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    A rental home is a product offered for sale. Can't afford it? Then don't buy it. Simples! My lettings agent sets a 4.25 times income criteria. [Should be based on disposable income NOT gross wages.]

    So, the government will be telling renters not to overspend. Sensible!

    But let's look at this another way. It is a heads up to would-be renters not to apply for a property unless their (disposable?) income is at least 4 times the rent being asked. When I am looking to buy property, I set the search limit to that which I can afford to pay. Saves me a whole heap of wasted time.

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    Just add ARLA a collection of Est’ Agents conspiring together getting rules & regulations changed to suit their own agenda and lobby for more while living off LL’s backs.
    NRLA reports we have 168 pieces of legislation governing us and hundreds of obligations, yet ARLA are actively campaigning for more Regulations some friends they are. Those button pressers which is purely what they are, what’s everything under their control and force us to go through them, be in complete control of us and a computer program to do all functions for them, they call it professionalism and to exclude us their customers. Maybe the’d know more about milk the other ARLA.

  • Theodor Cable

    Simple, if I only get 25% of income (Is that gross or nett??) Then they don't get my property.......

    Theodor Cable

    I will just wiat until I find a tenant that has the income to pay £3,500cm (after tax)...So approximately they will need to be earning around £175,000 pa.

    And then I will happiy let them have the house as it will deliver my requirements.

    If not, then they will need to look elsewhere and get a cheaper property to wreck.

     
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    There is no need to enhance tenant's rights for if rent controlls are implemented thare will be few landlords and few tenants.

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    ….making rental properties even harder to get! 👍

     
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    Surely all this will achieve is increased homelessness , those on low incomes will not be accepted as tenants .

    Theodor Cable

    Of course. It is just so obvious.
    What on earth goes through their heads?

    Let's hope ARLA follow it up and get the system set across the whole country.

    I would welcome it as private rentals will naturally increase. Sooner the better pleae.

     
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    So all those help to buy Schemes inflated property prices, distorting the market putting buyers in trouble for years to come while Developers make a killing, causing higher property prices all around puts pressure on rents now they complain about that. Shall I also mention the millions of £’s imposed on Private LL’s by local Authorities in each Borough with Licensing Schemes which has a huge knock on effect on
    Rents, so now add they want Rent controls no one to Control the Controllers.

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    Sadly the controllers in Scotland have been out of control for many years now! Turning into a mini dictatorship up here.

     
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    Champagne socialists just can’t stop trying to make everyone miserable. Landlords will stop buying the nicer properties if they are not allowed to rent them for market value, and tenants will now have far less choice as they will only be allowed to rent 25% of their salary. Landlords will now be buying the absolute cheapest properties they can find and then spend the bare minimum on maintenance - great move Sturgeon - you’ve literally found a policy that will negatively impact everyone.

    Of course, the cowardly government will do nothing about many home owners paying more than 25% of salaries on mortgages - all those that have scrimped and saved and worked to improve their lives - that sort of diligence is not encouraged or incentivised because ultimately their eutopia is a grey soleless world in which nobody owns anything, or has any choice or any opportunity to improve their situation. Makes me sick.

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    Great post Steve, couldn’t agree more. At one point I had 4 jobs at once, just trying to get on in life.. you just wonder why? It’s not a one off, Sturgeon has lots of policies that negatively impact on the majority. Not a nice place to be at the moment.

     
  • Mark Wilson

    If anyone is surprised then they have been looking the wrong way for some time. Coming soon to a buy to let Landlord near you!

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    Very likely Mark but who will the real losers be, the low paid and those on benefits who will not pass the affordability test.

     
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    Simple you cannot have an Economy based purely on housing. This is what they are doing building thousands of Flats clears not required converting lofts, re-zoning Commercial Buildings, knocking down Industrial Buildings all for Residential. The jobs will be gone forever so where will they be able to earn a living ?. This boom is false and quick fix for now to keep things going temporarily, when all this building madness stopes what then, no use pressing buttons when no one left to stitch up.

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    …and less oil revenue now the ScotGov have shut part of that down.

    As they say “The problem with socialism is, you eventually run out of someone else’s money”!

     
  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Reason Tenants can't afford current Cost of Living ( INCLUDING Rents ! ) is the Financial state of the economy and Austerity.
    You can't ' Legislate the cost of Living ! ' and the unintended consequences will hurt those it misguidedly, seeks to help as Andrew and others point out.

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    Communism on the rise. The lazies wil be loving this.

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    Welcome to Scotland. The country that was once great!

     
  • George Dawes

    From brave heart to blonde tart , the downfall of a once great country , so sad 😞

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    the greens are fascists--as of course is the snp

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    boris is very similar imo

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Yes, both a pair of Blond tarts.

     
  • Joanna Gibbings

    Landlords can simply let to those who have big enough incomes but then what happens when the Tenant’s income drops?
    There would be no grounds to evict.
    And I assume the rent would have to be reduced and with an indefinite term lease.

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    There could be a problem where that happens, but where there's a will there's a way around it, and I'm sure we will find that way.

     
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    When Mortgages don’t get paid the lender is guaranteed vacant possession.
    When its LL’s money that’s fine he can go and take a run & jump.

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    Well rent controles have work so well in the past havent they?..Dho! Even more landlords selling up and even less housing for the renters. Brilliant. Just one more loony government control over my property. And they say we live in a free country with free choice, What a joke. I can't wait to retire when i will then sell up everything and find some free spot in the world not totally controlled by the new world order elite yet.

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    Certainly won’t be Scotland then Iain.

     
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    Landlords will of course respond to any legislation that affects them as per the law of unintended consequences, i.e. ill-thought out changes But just wait until the legislation arrives and landlords are forced to reduce the rent rather than turn down a prospective tenant just because their income isn't high enough!

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    Time to sell then.

     
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    That depends on supply and demand. Fewer properties will mean fewer choices for poorer tenants and better properties will always attract better tenants and higher rents until there are too many better properties which is highly unlikely given current trends.

    I hate the SNP and especially their little green helpers but I don't fear them as their crazy 2017 prs legislation let me increase rents by 30%, and I expect attempts at rent controls will lead to regular rent increases matching or exceeding inflation to the cost of decent tenants who currently often avoid any rent increases as we want to keep them but we'll have no option to ensure we keep up with open market rents.

    P.S.. - AJMcM. I won't be selling up, but won't be buying any more properties for prs either!

     
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    Will that mean I'll be able to visit my local BMW dealer and demand that he reduces the price on their cars to fit my income and the law will back me up? Yeah! Right!

     
    Theodor Cable

    If their income is not want you want as a ladlord, then don't let the property!!!!!!!

    Simple no?

     
  • George Dawes

    There'll be plenty of properties to let , they'll just be owned by the government and big companies , the days of the prs are numbered. 2030 the great reset , they'll own everything and you won't be happy

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    "Rent controls, possibly ensuring that rents do not exceed 25 per cent of household income . . ."
    Is that before or after tax and national (non)insurance?

  • Theodor Cable

    As always, if the property is good and well looked after it will always get rented.
    And I will bet thet rent control will never happen in England.
    Only the mad Scots will try it a second time!!!!!!

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    Your starting to get legislation down there that we’ve had for a few years Theodor. Keep a look out.

    PS .. not all Scots are mad, only the ones in the Scottish Government!

     
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    All Scots ARE mad.

    The SNP and Green supporters are insane.

    The rest of us are blazing mad at their complacent incompetence, saddling us with the highest income tax rates in the UK, up to 61%, and threatening to bankrupt us with their unaffordable independence claptrap!

     
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    Mad as in furious Robert. The majority are certainly that as you say. These champagne socialists at Holyrood with their sheer incompetence are a massive liability to the future of our once great nation.

  • John  Adams

    So with a huge gap in Social Housing, the Scottish Nutty Party think that by pressuring Landlords to sell up will solve that crisis? Assuming they don't close the glaringly obvious loop hole of an Income Test for renters, the poor really are going to be up the creek. These folk that support these policies, obviously have no understanding of economics or history. As most peoples parent or grandparents can tell you Council Housing was often Damp, poorly maintained and miserable, what makes them think that Councils can do any better when they are swamped with ex-private renters?

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    A lot of council and housing assoc properties are still damp , poorly maintained and miserable, also on large estates in no go areas for decent people.

     
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    Unfortunately Comrade Sturgeon is predicated on detroying the union and re entering the EU. She couldnt care less about anything else.

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