RENT INCREASES SHOW NEED FOR FAIR RENT REFORM
Elaine Murray MSP has called upon the SNP to work with Scottish Labour to deliver fair rents for people in Dumfries & Galloway as new figures show that rent levels have increased all over Scotland.
New figures released by letting agents Your Move show that the average rent in Scotland has increased by nearly 3% in the last year, and by nearly 2% in South Scotland.
The average Scottish rent now stands at £537 a month – more than the weekly median wage in Scotland.
The average rent in South Scotland, which includes eight thousand privately rented households in Dumfries & Galloway, is now £489.
Previous analysis has shown that the number of homes in the private rented sector living in poverty has more than doubled in a decade to over 100,000, with one in four Scots who live in poverty living in the private rented sector.
Nearly half of private renters in Scotland are families.
Earlier this year, Elaine Murray MSP supported proposals for a fair rent cap the Housing (Scotland) Act to cap rent rises to stop tenants being ripped off by landlords.
The proposal was blocked at the time by the SNP.
However, the Dumfriesshire MSP said that It is time for Scotland’s parties to work together to make a real difference to the lives of people in Scotland, and they should start with fair rents.
Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray said:
“These new figures are really worrying, times are hard enough for families in Dumfries & Galloway with rising energy bills and spiralling childcare costs, the last thing we need is to see rents rise to unaffordable levels.
“We must make the private rental sector work for the people who need it most – families and people on low pay.
“It was a missed opportunity for the SNP to oppose Scottish Labour proposals to make rents in Scotland fair. It would have provided some relief and security to the eight thousand renters in Dumfries & Galloway and across Scotland.
“The referendum made clear that we must work together to build a fairer, better, more prosperous Scotland. It is what Scots want regardless of whether they voted Yes, whether they voted No, or what party they will support in the future.
“We can begin by having an honest debate about how we can make renting more affordable for the low paid, so that they can have a home, not just a roof over their heads.