A meeting of Glasgow City councillors in September voted in favour of commissioning a feasibility study into the application of a ‘Rent Pressure Zone’. This move comes after our members voted to make this a city wide campaigning priority, at the Glasgow branch launch.
The application of a ‘Rent Pressure Zone’ comes as part of the Private Tenancy Act 2016 which we heavily campaigned around in 2014. The act enables every local authority in Scotland to request powers from the Scottish Government to cap the rents in an area if there is justifiable proof that rents are rising too fast.
The criteria required to justify a RPZ in this act remains very convoluted and difficult to break down, we believe that this is only the first step on the road to proper rent controls that will have a positive impact on renters lives. It is for this reason that we will continue to campaign for its implementation, but we are under no illusions as to its potential effects.
The act states that a RPZ may cap the rents in any one area at the Consumer Price Index, plus a minimum of 1% decided by the Scottish Government. The current CPI + 1% would still allow for roughly 3-4% annual increase. A quick calculation of our own members rent increases has shown that a contractual increase of 3.5% in some cases still amounts to a monthly increase of £125pm over 4 years.
We congratulate the fast response and commitment of Glasgow City Councillors in acting swiftly to commission this study after the launch of our campaign. This shows the great possibilities of what organised tenants can achieve and gives us hope and belief that we can change our city for the better, sooner rather than later.
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