A leading figure within the UK private rented sector has highlighted how official data published by the Scottish government reveals that claims by leading campaigning organisations that rents are rising faster than inflation are ‘untrue’.
David Alexander has pointed that these claims, which are also often repeated by the Scottish government, contradict the research within its own recent rental reform proposals, ‘A New Deal for Tenants’ which is out for consultation.
This says that since 2006/2007 the proportion of income spent on housing in the PRS is 26% compared to 24% in social housing.
Two-bedroom PRS rents over the last eleven years have risen at a rate comparable to inflation (25.1% compared to inflation of 24.3% over the same period) and that median gross earnings have also increased broadly ahead of rents (26% since 2010 compared to 25% rise in rents).
“The Scottish Government states that rents have been increasing at a higher rate in the PRS than wages, that rents have been increasing above inflation and that people can’t afford for this to continue without intervention all of which is not true,” he says.
“The consultation states that the government wants rent controls to be introduced.
“Rent control does nothing to tackle the reason for rising rents which is simply too many people wanting to live in certain areas with insufficient homes for them to live in.
“The key to reducing rents is to increase housing stock. Unfortunately, the general outcome of rent controls is to create the exact opposite by reducing supply as investors leave the market.”
Alexander runs Scots lettings agency giant DJ Alexander and national renting platform Apropos.