A newspaper is suggesting that proposals for rent controls could be scuppered because of the relatively large proportion of elected politicians who are in fact landlords.
The National - a newspaper in Scotland which supports independence - claims that nearly a fifth of elected politicians in the Scottish Parliament are landlords.
It claims that this poses what it claims to be ‘a risk’ to proposals by the ruling Scottish National and Green parties to introduce rent controls - even though just over four fifths of the Parliament are not landlords.
The paper goes on to list those Members of the Scottish Parliament who are landlords - and this includes eight Scottish National Party MSPs.
One, Michelle Thomson, has an estimated rental income of £30,000 a year from here three rental houses and three rental apartments.
The Scottish Labour Party - which has also come out in favour of rent controls - has five MSPs who are landlords.
The newspaper claims that: “Campaigners say the stark figures show that the density of parliamentarians who are involved in the rental property market is a ‘serious impediment’ on their ability to act in the interests of tenants.”
The SNP and Greens - who rule Scotland in a loose alliance - have gone to a formal consultation on radical plans to reform the private rental sector, with rent controls as a major element.
The proposals put out for consultation include:
- increasing penalties for illegal evictions and stronger enforcement;
- restricting evictions during winter;
- national rent controls;
- giving tenants greater flexibility to personalise their homes and keep pets;
- introducing a new Housing Standard to apply to all homes;
- establishing a private rented sector regulator to uphold these standards and ensure the system is fair for both landlords and tenants;
- setting minimum standards for energy efficiency, making homes cheaper to heat while contributing to Scotland’s climate change targets.
Over the festive period Paul Sweeney, Labour’s shadow minister for public finance and employment in the Scottish Parliament - and a former Labour MP at Westminster - tweeted his demands for rent controls.
“We need rent controls in Scotland, and we need them now. For too long, landlords have had total control: ratcheting up rents well above wages while neglecting maintenance” he wrote on Twitter.
“Together we can end the the rip off rental market in Scotland and provide good quality housing for everyone” he continued.
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