Action needed to help Kingdom’s renters

Ahead of the Housing (Scotland) Bill Stage 3 debate next week I have called for action to reform the rental market in Scotland. Amongst proposals brought forward by Scottish Labour are plans to limit rent increases to once a year along with capping those increases. We have also, through my colleague James Kelly MSP, called for an increase in the level of tenancy from 6 months to 3 years.

These proposals come on the back of recent figures that highlights that over a fifth of those receiving benefits in Fife find themselves within the private rented sector. The moves that we have brought forward are essential to tackle the housing crisis faced by many across Scotland.

With many households facing ever increasing bills we must do all that we can to relieve the pressures families are continuing to face. Affordable rents are one way to achieve this and that is why I support Labour’s proposals for a capping rent increases in the private sector and limiting them to only once a year.

The private renting sector has an important part to play to address our housing crisis but we must ensure that the checks and balances are in place that will keep the sector affordable to those that desperately need to find a home.

We can and should take action on this now. That is why I will be supporting amendments at the third and final reading of the Housing Bill in Parliament to offer protection to private renters in the Kingdom, I hope the SNP will be willing to support them as well.

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