Tenants in Scotland undermine political case for Rent ControlMake Text Bigger
The Scottish Government is in the process of consulting on a new Private Rented Sector (PRS) tenancy system, which also canvasses opinion on whether a system of rent controls is necessary, whilst Labour argue that a system of rent controls are necessary to remove excessive rises.
The trade membership body for letting agents in Scotland, Letscotland, has made clear that mid-lease rent rises are an irrelevance to the vast majority of PRS tenants in Scotland and says “Labour’s rent controls policy is a solution looking for a problem.”
Evidence comes from a survey conducted by Lettingstats, which canvassed the opinions of over 7,400 tenants of the PRS. It is believed to be the largest opinion survey of private renting tenants conducted in UK and publishes the following results:
- 86% of tenants surveyed had never received a request for a rent increase during a lease
- 90% had never experienced a rent rise that was deemed to be unreasonable
- 91% of tenants think that the frequency of rent reviews on their property has been reasonable.
- 41% of tenants are confident that they could secure another rented property in a reasonable time frame if they had to leave their current home
Chairman of Letscotland, Malcolm Warrack said “Scotland’s private rented sector has grown hugely in response to the demands of the market, and these figures make clear that the overwhelming majority of tenants do not share the view that there is a problem with escalating rent levels. The vast majority do not receive a request for a rent rise during their tenancy, and if they do, it seems that most consider that request to be reasonable.
“Housing provision is vital for the success of the economy and for meeting the demands of wider society. We need to get any future reforms right for tenants and right for the market. The Lettingstats survey also found that only 41% of tenants are confident that they could secure another suitable rented property in a reasonable timeframe if they had to leave their current home. That uncertainty is founded on a shortage of rented properties on the market to meet demand.
“With rented properties being snapped up within days of going on the market, we have a supply problem in private rented stock in Scotland. We need to ensure current landlords remain in the sector keep their properties and encourage them to provide more in future to meet rising demand. Frankly, rent controls will only further restrict the supply of properties on the market, and turn a problem into a crisis.”
The questions asked in the survey seemed to be clear and fair:
- Has your current Landlord or Letting agent increased rents in your current or most recent rental property?
- Has any Landlord or Letting agent increased your rent to a point where you consider it to be unreasonably high?
- Have any of your previous Landlords or Letting agents ever imposed rent increases more frequently than you consider to be reasonable?
- If you had to leave your current property are you confident of finding another suitable rental property in a reasonable time frame?
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