June 19, 2024 3:19 pm

Insert Lead Generation
Nikka Sulton

The Labour Party’s latest manifesto for Scotland suggests the potential introduction of rent controls. This move aligns with Labour’s ongoing support for the rent control measures implemented by the coalition of the Scottish National Party and the Scottish Greens. By proposing rent regulation, Labour signals a commitment to addressing housing affordability issues in Scotland. 

The manifesto indicates that, under a Labour-led UK government, there might be support for granting Scotland the authority to implement tailored rent control policies. This approach aims to curb rising rental costs and provide relief to tenants facing affordability challenges. The proposal reflects Labour’s broader housing strategy, aiming to ensure fairer rental conditions and greater housing stability for Scottish residents.

The manifesto states that tenants should be shielded from unaffordable rents and unscrupulous landlords, stressing that rent regulations must be practical and reflect legislative intent. It emphasises Scottish Labour’s commitment to raising standards in the rented sector, aiming to enhance tenants’ rights and ensure their homes are livable and well-maintained.

While Scottish Labour advocates for these measures, the UK Labour Party has been against rent controls at the national level for the past 18 months. Since Angela Rayner replaced Lisa Nandy as shadow housing secretary, rent controls have not been part of Labour’s UK-wide agenda. Despite pressure from some Metro Mayors seeking the power to impose rent controls, the recent UK Labour Manifesto made no mention of such measures.


Here is the housing reference, in full, in the Scottish Labour Manifesto:

“Economic security also means having a secure roof over your head. Scottish Labour believes that everybody should have a home that is safe, secure and affordable, but this remains a far-off dream for too many Scots.

“Despite the growing recognition that Scotland is facing a housing emergency, the SNP chose to cut the housing budget by almost £200 million in a single year. 

“Tackling the housing crisis will require an increase to housing supply and, as well as reforming planning to unlock private investment and development, we need to tackle the shortage of affordable homes. Our reform of planning will strengthen the requirements for new affordable homes within new developments, and ensure that discounts for low-income buyers are retained when homes are subsequently sold on. Increasing the supply of affordable homes must be done in partnership with local authorities to ensure that communities have the housing they need.

“Too many Scots are stuck in the private rented sector, unable to save up deposits or access social housing. Tenants should be protected from unaffordable rents and unscrupulous landlords, but rent regulations must be practical, workable, and reflect the intent of legislators. Scottish Labour also supports proposals to drive up standards in the rented sector in Scotland, improving the rights of tenants to make their house a proper home.

“Scottish Labour is committed to improving levels of home ownership. Owning your own home should not be the privilege of the wealthy or for those who can rely on their families for financial support. Across the UK, a Labour government will introduce a permanent new comprehensive mortgage guarantee scheme to support first-time buyers who struggle to save for a large deposit with lower mortgage costs.

“In Scotland, Scottish Labour would also reform the rules for existing support schemes so that they are available to more low-income first-time buyers. To help those struggling with the rising costs of mortgages, Scottish Labour has called for a relaunch of the Scottish Mortgage to Shared Equity Scheme to ensure nobody loses their home due to the Conservatives’ disastrous mini-budget.

“While families struggle to get on the housing ladder, thousands of homes across Scotland are lying unused and empty. A Scottish Labour government would address this, working with local government to buy up neglected and empty homes, selling them on to future homeowners who will turn them back into homes that are lived in and loved.

“Regardless of tenure, Scottish Labour believes that every family in Scotland should have a home in which they feel safe and secure. It is essential that when safety issues are highlighted, action is taken swiftly to ensure that families are not at risk. We must never again see a repeat of the Grenfell fire disaster. In the seven years since, progress in removing dangerous cladding from homes across Scotland has been painfully slow. Scottish Labour believes the remediation process must be accelerated and treated with the urgency it deserves.

“The last Labour government in Scotland oversaw a decrease in homelessness and all but abolished rough sleeping. That progress has since been undone, with rising numbers forced to sleep on the streets, or sofa surfing, and thousands of people stuck in temporary accommodation. Building on our past experience of progress, a Scottish Labour government will partner with local authorities to develop a cross-government strategy to reduce homelessness, increase housing supply, and end Scotland’s housing emergency.”


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