Scots priced out of rental market as rates soar


​Struggling Scots can't afford continuous rises in the private rental market 

14th November 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

More people could lose their homes as private rental rates soar.

Scottish Government figures show the cost of a typical two-bed private rental property rose by 4.4% in the last year.

Rent on a two-bed property is averaging £643 this year up from £616 in 2016 – leading Shelter Scotland to warn people will struggle to cope with the increases alongside stagnating wages and rising in living costs. 

Figures also reveal rents in Greater Glasgow rose by 7% (to £745) and by 6.9% (to £888) in the Lothians.

The housing charity is calling for the chancellor to unfreeze Local Housing Allowance (LHA) in next week’s budget to make sure those relying on the benefit to meet their rent can stay in their homes.

Adam Lang, policy head at Shelter Scotland, said the rent increases would hurt those who are already living on a knife-edge. 

“We already know that a great many families are struggling day-to-day to keep a roof over their heads,” he said.

“Affordability was the single biggest reason people came to Shelter Scotland with last year and private renters are the biggest group who contact Shelter Scotland for help.

“We strongly urge the chancellor to unfreeze LHA in next week’s budget. If this doesn’t happen those people who rely on help to pay their rent will be at greater risk of homelessness.”

Analysis of the Broad Rental Market Area figures, which samples rents in 18 large areas across Scotland, found that average rents rose in all but three parts of Scotland: Aberdeen City and Shire, Argyll and Bute and West Dunbartonshire.

Lang added: “It is not the fault of renters that there is a massive shortage of housing. They shouldn’t face homelessness because of a failure of successive governments to build enough affordable homes.”

Next month Scotland’s new private residential tenancies will be introduced and begin replacing the current assured and short assured tenancies.