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Now trade unions join the call for urgent rent controls

Trade unions in Scotland are demanding that local council candidates sign a pledge to support “urgent” rent controls in that country.

The Scottish TUC’s local council elections manifesto includes the demand with STUC general secretary Roz Foyer saying: “Low pay, sky-rocketing energy costs in addition to increasing inflation has [sic] pushed workers across Scotland to the brink.

“This cannot continue. We need to see an urgent intervention from local authorities to pressure the Scottish Government for rent control legislation. This is over and above the long overdue increased funding for social housing programmes. 

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“We’re calling on all council candidates to back our manifesto demands, ensuring tenants, workers and people across Scotland have the real assistance they need to tackle the spiralling cost of living crisis experienced by so many.”

Scotland’s controversial Green Party housing chief - who is part of a governing arrangement with Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party - has already published details of his plans for rent controls.

Patrick Harvie - who has the title Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights - says: “Now is the time to do more for people who rent their homes, whether they are renting privately, from the council or from a housing association. Delivering a new deal for tenants is central to our ambitions for a fairer Scotland, tackling child poverty and meeting climate change targets.

“Above all else it will significantly improve the lives of Scotland’s tenants, giving them more stability, more choice over where they live and how they decorate their homes, and the confidence that their home will be of a high quality. At the same time it will recognise the interests of good quality, responsible landlords.  

“We will be working in partnership with landlords, letting agents, tenants and others to deliver this strategy, and we want to gather the broadest range of views. I would encourage anyone with an interest to respond to our consultation.”

The huge 108 page consultation document explains that Scotland already has stricter constraints on landlords increasing rents than any other part of the UK.

The Private Residential Tenancy concept, which the then SNP-only Scottish Government introduced in December 2017, limited rent increases to once in 12 months, with a landlord required to give three months’ notice in advance of the increase; it also enabled tenants to challenge rent increases via adjudication by a Rent Officer; and it introduced the ability for local authorities to apply to Scottish Ministers to designate an area as being of Rent Pressure Zone status.

The new consultation document has the recommendation that “For private tenants seeking rent adjudication, we will change the legislation to only allow adjudications that either decrease or maintain it at the level proposed by the landlord.”  

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    I am confused by the very last section of the article…… “” only allow adjudications that either decrease or maintain “” so does that mean if a LL wants to increase the rent it will fail ?

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    People WORK in Scotland?

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    A few of us do and pay marginal income tax rates of up to 61%.

    Want to join us while there are still some available properties?

     
  •  G romit

    Why just controls on rents? Why not mortgages, food, electricity, gas, petrol, diesel, clothes??

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    Haven't you noticed how controls have helped energy prices and overdraft interest rates?

    Rents are next to soar.

     
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    This is a soup of the Government and Council making . They know (or they should know ) That punitive Taxes (section 24) and constant unnecessary over regulation, and now inflation will cause rent to rise.
    Everything has to be paid out of the rent

  • girish mehta

    Rent controls=no profit= no investment= housing shortage = higher rent and more homeless. Race to bottom

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    About what you would expect from a loony left union

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    Currently a great many tenancies go on for years without a rent increase. Rent controls simply mean guaranteed rent rises on an annual basis don't they?
    It says Scotland already has limited rent increases to once in 12 months, with a landlord required to give three months’ notice in advance of the increase; it also enabled tenants to challenge rent increases via adjudication by a Rent Officer.
    I thought all of us could only increase rents once a year for existing tenants. Giving 3 months notice instead of one month's notice isn't difficult. I have no idea what current Rent Officers are like but back in the day when Housing Benefit was determined by Rent Officers things worked far better than they do now.
    “For private tenants seeking rent adjudication, we will change the legislation to only allow adjudications that either decrease or maintain it at the level proposed by the landlord.” Doesn't that just mean the Rent Officers can't suggest a higher rent than the one proposed by the landlord? So if the landlord proposes an increase that is in line with inflation or local housing market prices the Rent Officer is likely to agree. If the proposal is for a £10 increase the Rent Officer can't say £30 would be more realistic.

    So without rent controls millions of tenants don't have regular rent increases. (One of mine has had one increase in 10 years, another has had one in 6 years, several are still paying the same as the day they moved in 4 or 5 years ago).
    Rent controls will ensure the vast majority of tenants have annual rent increases at a minimum of the inflation rate.

    If Trade Unions want to interfere in housing matters they should be lobbying for the LHA to be set at a realistic level not campaigning for annual rent increases.

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    I have several rents the same or less for years and one house is less than 20 years ago even though the Tenants have changed many times. Even worse at that time I had a 6 weeks Deposit but that was before the Rogue Deposit Schemes so now I don’t have any Deposit because of the unfairness it’s a liability and offers no protection for the Property which is what a Deposit was for, now its only for the Deposit it self but covers 3 times more as well so it covers 4 Deposits even though only one Deposit taken, what could be fairer than that, not.

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    If the council wants to control rents, all they have to do is supply social housing and they can control there own rents.

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    I have one protected tenancy, I am allowed to increase that rent every two years, so I do to the max allowed, if these rent controls do come in then I will have to increase all rents by the max allowed as often as allowed, so who's going to be the loser ?

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    What about fair tenant controls.
    Where the government underwrites the tenants rent. Incase of their failure to pay. And covers for any damage done by the tenant. This will bring more Properties for fair rent back into the market very quickly.
    As I'm sure there are lots of people with potential nice properties or rooms to let but at the moment are hesitant to bring them on line.
    This is based in experience.
    The courts are useless and expensive to recover money owed and for damages
    Government yes you!
    Stop bleating about the lack of housing which you created.
    And really help by supporting those who are really providing homes for people.

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