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Tenants’ union demands focus on rent controls ahead of SNP conference

A SCOTTISH tenants’ union delivered 100 postcards to the SNP today calling on the party to focus on rent controls ahead of its annual conference.

Living Rent collected messages from local residents at street stalls and outreach events across Edinburgh demanding that the issue be made central to nationalists’ manifesto for next year’s Holyrood elections. 

Figures from Living Rent show that average rent costs in the city increased by 40 per cent between 2010 and 2017.

The tenants’ union is demanding nationwide rent controls based on a European-style points system that links the maximum rent a landlord can charge to the quality of the property.

It also advocates the creation of a Scottish living rent commission, which would be an umbrella body and centre of expertise and regulation for the sector, and wants to see costs limited to a specific rent affordability index in any given area.

Maddy Kirkman, Scottish Labour candidate in Edinburgh Central, said: “Greater regulation is desperately needed in the private rented sector to redress the balance of power between landlords and tenants and prevent ordinary people paying a huge proportion of their income in return for shoddy accommodation.

“Living Rent’s model, which links to local affordability and the quality of housing, protects tenants’ human right to a decent home.” 

Catriona MacDonald, SNP candidate in Edinburgh Southern and a member of Living Rent, said: “Everyone deserves a safe, affordable, high-quality home. 

“Rent in Edinburgh has increased by more than 45 per cent since 2010, far beyond inflation and far beyond what is affordable for too many people.

“We urgently need change – rent controls are a crucial step forward.”

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