Scottish Labour Plans Consultation on Rent Restrictions

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Landlord investors and tenants across Scotland are set to be consulted regarding Scottish Labour plans to impose rent restrictions.

Scottish Labour has suggested plans to introduce new legislation which will link rents to average wages. Tenants will be issued with the power to challenge unfair rental prices.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard has frequently voiced concerns about unfeasibly high rents and has been clear regarding his plans to limit the powers of private landlords in Scotland. This desire has been criticised due to concerns that it could have a negative impact on tenants.

In his keynote speech to Scottish Labour’s spring conference earlier this year, he described plans to reform the rental sector in Scotland. One of such plans was the introduction of a new ‘Mary Barbour law’ to protect tenants. The proposed ‘Mary Barbour law’ is named after the Red Clydeside political activist. She played a key role in the rent strikes of 1915.

Leonard has recently reiterated his desires for rental reform in Scotland. He said: ‘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 well-being.’

He continued: ‘A home is a basic fundamental human right. The Scottish Parliament must endure that that everyone can exercise this right to live in security, peace, and dignity. While the SNP tinkers around the edges, Labour will deliver real change. The first step towards that is this a major discussion paper to guide our reforms.’