Labour MSP for Glasgow, Pauline McNeill joined Lets Talk to discuss her proposed ‘Fair Rents (Scotland)’ bill. Pauline believes the current Rent Pressure Zones (RPZ’s) are not fit for purpose, therefore, following suit of Labour activist Mary Barbour from the early part of the 20th century, Pauline is aiming to tackle rising rents in Scotland’s private rented sector by capping annual rent increases.

During the time of the First World War, after a growth in industry, Glasgow experienced a dramatic increase in rents and campaigner Mary Barbour led an army of woman to fight for fair rents. In 2015 the rent strikes took place and culminated in government legislation changing to prohibit landlords from raising rents and evicting tenants who couldn’t afford the levels.

Proposed rent cap for Scotland

Modern day Mary Barbour, Pauline McNeill believes “a decent warm home at an affordable price is a basic human right.” She discusses in detail how she proposes a rent cap for Scotland and describes the systems she would recommend to be in place for it to be successful in practice.

Other related points were also discussed, such as the availability of reliable and comprehensive rental data, the landlord’s current situation following cuts to tax relief/removal of wear and tear/other expenses involved in letting property, as well as the current serious housing shortage itself.

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