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Limits on rent charges backed by 75% of Scots, survey finds

Campaigners believe private tenants need more financial protection (PA)
Campaigners believe private tenants need more financial protection (PA)

Three-quarters of Scots support the introduction of limits on how much private landlords can charge in rent, according to a survey.

The study by Survation for tenants’ union Living Rent also shows almost half of voters would be more likely to support a candidate for election if they back limits on prices, compared to 11% who say they would be less likely to.

Campaigners are now calling on the Scottish Government to protect tenants by following the lead of countries across Europe by introducing a cap.

Gordon Maloney, from Living Rent, said: “These figures should be a wake-up call to the Scottish Government. Rent controls are enormously popular, and it is no surprise – far too many tenants across the country are being forced into poverty by sky-high rents.

“Now we need urgent action. if politicians turn a blind eye to the housing crisis, voters will not forgive them.”

More than 1,000 adults living in Scotland took part in the poll.

Among those who vote SNP, support was at 85% for rent controls.

Living Rent argued in a recent report that new “rent pressure zone” powers have failed to protect tenants, and it said the Scottish Government must now move towards “proper, nationwide rent controls”.

It said that since launching the report, almost 17,000 people have signed a petition backing the demand on the 38 Degrees website.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “The new private residential tenancy – introduced in December 2017 – provides a range of measures to help tackle high rents, including limiting rent increases to once in 12 months, with three months’ notice required, enabling tenants to challenge unfair rent increases and providing local authorities with new discretionary powers to designate an area as being a rent pressure zone.

“This year, new regulations will make changes to the repairing standard that will improve the condition of private rented properties.”

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