Propertymark calls for end to rent caps amid Scottish Labour’s housing emergency motion

Propertymark has appealed to the Scottish Government to end rent caps, coinciding with Scottish Labour’s move to declare a nationwide housing emergency.

Scottish Labour MSPs are set to table a motion asserting that Scotland is facing a housing crisis, amidst reports of 15,000 homeless or temporarily housed Scots and a rise in rough sleepers.

The call comes as the SNP’s social homes programme saw a 26% drop in home construction this year compared to 2022-23, and despite rent freezes, private rent prices in Scotland have surged by 12%, the highest increase outside London.

Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaigns at Propertymark, emphasised the detrimental effects of the Cost of Living legislation and rent caps on the private rented sector.

He said: “It is high-time that the SNP and Green administration running the Scottish Government realise the damage the Cost of Living legislation that introduced rent caps has had on the private rented sector in Scotland – demand for rented property is souring, tenants are staying put and rents are rising.

“In addition to this, landlords can only get a loan of up to £15,000 for energy efficiency improvements and in December last year the Scottish Government raised the Additional Dwelling Supplement to 6% of the purchase price when buying a buy-to-let property – Scotland is now the most expensive place to invest in the private rented sector across the UK.

“The Scottish Government need to urgently review all taxes and costs impacting private landlords and agents in order to tackle the housing emergency and introduce policies that don’t stifle growth and bring down the cost of renting.”