Tighter regulation needed to reign in exorbitant private rents as well as better standard of accommodation
The UK’s youngest MP has called for increased regulation for Scotland’s private renting sector as well as stricter rent controls.
Mhairi Black, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire, said the time had come for rent controls to be introduced.
Addressing students at the University of the West of Scotland, Black said inflated rent prices prevented students getting suitable accommodation “and it is time for a change.”
Black’s comments follow increasing calls from student bodies for the private rented sector to be better regulated in a bid to tackle rising rents as well as unscrupulous landlords.
Jack Douglas, the president of the Students Association of the University of the West of Scotland, said: “Growing rent prices are a huge concern to students at the University of the West of Scotland and elsewhere in Scotland. We are incredibly pleased that Mhairi Black has joined with us and many other campaigning organisations in Scotland in backing rent controls.
Rent controls are crucial to tackling poverty in Scotland - Liz Ely
"What’s being called for is not a new idea, limits on rental increases were scrapped during the Thatcher government. The lack of regulation in this area has been detrimental to people and has allowed living costs to rise. High housing prices are a key cause of student poverty however this year the Scottish Government really has the chance to fix this by implementing rent controls.”
The call comes after the second round of consultation over the housing bill and after a petition of 8,000 signatures to reintroduce rent controls was handed to the Scottish Government from the Living Rent Campaign.
Liz Ely, an activist with the Living Rent Campaign, said: “Mhairi Black is the latest politician in Scotland to join the call for rent controls, and we warmly welcome her support. Rent controls are crucial to tackling poverty in Scotland, and it should come as no surprise that such a tireless campaigner for social justice as Mhairi Black is now calling for their reintroduction.”