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Scottish Labour consults on 'Mary Barbour law' to control rents

SCOTTISH LABOUR launched a consultation today on its proposed landmark “Mary Barbour law” to control rents and protect tenants.

Party leader Richard Leonard said the law, named after the activist who led opposition to rent increases in Glasgow in 1915, would fight “rip-off rents” and enshrine decent housing as a “basic fundamental human right.”

Figures show private renting has expanded significantly across Scotland, rising from  5 per cent of the market in 1999 to 15 per cent in 2016.

Rents have also been increasing with the average cost of a two-bedroom flat up 4.4 per cent last year.

Labour said more information was needed on how rent increases are distributed and how they are affecting tenants.

Mr Leonard said: “We need to reform Scotland’s private rented sector.

“Too many young families are caught in a vicious cycle: a lack of affordable public housing forces people to rent privately and as a result many are paying rip-off rents, which stops them saving for a deposit to buy their own home.

“Our proposals for a Mary Barbour law will seek to regulate the private rented sector to ensure that no-one is forced to rent a home that pushes them into poverty or falls below the standards needed to protect their physical and mental health and wellbeing.

“A home is a basic fundamental human right. The Scottish Parliament must ensure that everyone can exercise this right to live in security, peace and dignity.”


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