Claire backs calls for reform of the private rented sector

I have backed plans to reform the private rented sector in Scotland following the SNP failing to support Labour’s amendments at the committee stage of the Housing (Scotland) Bill. Scottish Labour is proposing amendments to the bill which is currently making its way through Parliament that will cap rent rises.

Such a move would impact on approximately 17,000 households in Fife as 10% of housing in the region is privately rented. The amendments also propose making 3 years the market standard for renting tenure in Scotland, offering renters in Fife peace of mind in their homes.

We need to take action to tackle the rising rent costs facing some in the private renting sector throughout the Kingdom. With pay-packets being increasingly stretched we should be doing all within our power to help ensure households aren’t faced with a choice between heating their homes and putting food on the table. 

Despite the failure from the SNP to back these proposals at Stage 2 reading of the Housing Bill, Scottish Labour aims to table them again at the third and final reading and I have called on the Scottish Government to support them to deliver a fairer deal for families in the Kingdom.

Recent studies have shown that over 100,000 private rented households in Scotland live in poverty, and renters cut back on food and heating bills to pay rent.Capping private rent costs will help to alleviate the pressures families are facing, and by offering greater security of tenure, households will be able to turn a flat into a home.

There are 17,000 private renters in Fife and we can deliver positive change for them now. I was disappointed that the SNP failed to support these plans and voted against them in the committee. I will campaign to see them delivered through the Housing Bill and hope that the SNP and Scottish Government have a change of heart. It is time to stand up for Scotland’s renting families.

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