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Rent controls needed because tenants “pay way over the odds”

The UK’s first Minister for Tenants’ Rights says he will introduce rent controls because renters currently “pay way over the odds”.

Although details are sparse, the proposal to introduce the controls has been confirmed by Patrick Harvie, who this week takes up the new role as minister for tenants in the Scottish Government, following a deal between the SNP and the Green Party. 

Harvie has told the BBC: “Every Member of the Scottish Parliament will tell you that we get constituents telling us they’re paying far more in rent than for a repayment mortgage on the same property without any of the wider benefits of ownership. 


“They’re living in precarious housing. They don’t have the stability of knowing they can even redecorate the way they would like. 

“So we do need a package of tenants’ rights that will include rent controls because many people are simply paying way over the odds for what is an insecure tenure of housing.”

Earlier in the same interview with the BBC, Harvie appeared at odds with the SNP - which is a partner in government with his Green Party - when he said the Rent Control Zones currently operating across Scotland were “broken“ and he said there were “almost designed not to be used.”  

The actual implementation of rent controls - if the Scottish Government follows through - will still be some way off.

Formal consultation is expected in the coming nine months and then - at some point in the 12 months from May 2022 - a Housing Bill will be introduced. 

This is expected to include a pledge to “implement an effective national system of rent controls, with an appropriate mechanism to allow local authorities to introduce local measures.”

The final agreed system is unlikely to come before late 2024 at the earliest.

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  • George Dawes

    Because rent controls always work so well /s

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    Rents may be higher than the payments on a repayment mortgage but a renter invests none of their own money in the deposit and has non of the costs of the upkeep of the property. They can also move on a whim with just one months notice.

    With all the extra demands and costs being heaped on LLs and the likelihood of many leaving the PRS rents are only going to go one way - up!

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    Who pays for the repairs and necessary upgrades that are constantly being demanded by government, which landlords currently pay from rents received?

    Next they'll be demanding that LLs pay the tenants' council tax & utility bills.

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    Does that mean I can look forward to lower leasing costs for my next car because it would definitely be cheaper if I could buy it outright and sell it whenever I choose?

  • Robert Nottingham

    If a Tenant wishes to enjoy lower rent but significantly greater responsibility the option is always there: it’s called a mortgage and quirkily referred to as ‘home ownership’…

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    Sadly there's no actual detail on what sort of mortgage is being referred to here. Renting should be compared to a 100% mortgage (if you could get one) plus maintenance costs, risks such as potential boiler replacement roof repairs, insurance, stamp duty, buying and selling costs and associated inconvenience and stress, etc. Compared to a 3-year lease, you might be lucky to break even, even with some capital appreciation.

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    If rents only matched mortgage payments where would the profit be for Landords ?

    No profit = no landlords and massive homelessness!


    I'm having a new boiler fitted at one of my properties today, the heating engineer is making a profit at my expense, if he wasn't he wouldn't be there doing the job, landlords are no different .

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Did I miss the announcement of who the Minister for landlords was ?


    Are you volunteering? you got my vote.


    You really don't want any eligible MSP trying to "help" landlords!

    They are all so incompetent that such "help" would be counterproductive as has most "help" aimed at tenants which has only led to higher rents and fewer properties for rent.

    To paraphrase a common question "With enemies like these, who needs friends?"

    I'm quite happy to have Sturgeon, Harvey and their separist zealots "on the side" of tenants as there will only be one winning side, and it won't be the tenants!

    The funny thing is that all decent landlords and tenants are already on the same (winning) side. Our enemies are the rogue tenants - losers in every way.

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    It's hard enough to find properties where the rent can be sufficient to satisfy the lenders mortgage stress testing requirements. We often have to put in 40% or 50% deposits to make the numbers work for the lender.

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    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.


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