Last week I backed a new campaign for a fairer deal for Scotland’s private renters. Shelter Scotland’s “Make Renting Right” campaign has called to reform the sector to make it work for both the people who live in rented housing, and landlords who let out their properties.
The campaign has 5 key aims, calling for a private rented sector that has; stability, flexibility, a modern tenancy, a fair system and predictability.
The campaign follows warnings from Professor David Bell of the University of Stirling that young people faced a choice between living in “increasingly expensive private rented accommodation, which limits their ability to save, or to remain living with parents.”
Whilst many in Fife chose the private rented sector through choice, others make the decision as they are unable to get on the property ladder. We know that young people especially, the so called ‘generation rent’, can find it difficult to save for a mortgage.
That is why I backed a series of reforms to the private rented sector from Scottish Labour in the Housing Act, including a fair rent cap and more secure tenancies. We recognised that we have to take action in the sector, but unfortunately SNP blocked our amendments, despite the Scottish Government’s own Expert Working Group on Welfare recommended capping rent increases.
Analysis shows that nearly half of private renters in Scotland are families with one in four Scots who live in poverty live in the private rented sector.
Shelter Scotland are absolutely right to make this a priority campaign issue. Their five asks are simple yet effective and will result in a rented sector that is fair for all, that should be the end goal for all politicians regardless of their party.
We must make renting more affordable. People deserve a home, not just a roof over their heads.
Join me in signing Shelter’s petition by clicking here.