Scottish Labour has launched a public consultation on their proposed ‘Mary Barbour’ law, which will cap annual rent increases in private sector properties at one percentage point above inflation.

There are an estimated 10,000 private sector renters in Dumfries and Galloway.

The Member’s Bill, named after campaigner Mary Barbour who led the 1915 Glasgow Rent Strikes, will cap increases on private sector rents and give more power to tenants.

The proposed law will cap annual private sector rent increases across Scotland at one percentage point above inflation.

The number of people living in private rented accommodation has increased in recent years, with more and more families negatively affected by soaring rent costs.

The proposed Bill would introduced a package of measures including:

  • Capping annual private sector rent increases at one percentage point above inflation
  • Giving tenants more power in rent appeal processes
  • Expanding the landlord register to include the level of rent charged.

Members of the public have until the 31 July 2019 to make their views known on the proposal.

South Scotland Labour MSP , Colin Smyth said, “The vast majority of private landlords in Dumfries and Galloway are responsible and don’t rip off tenants but sadly a small minority do . A lack of social housing is forcing more and more people to rent privately where some landlords are increasing rents higher than inflation and wage growth, pushing families closer and closer to the breadline. Labour’s Mary Barbour law would tackle exploitative landlords by capping private sector rent increases, giving people across Dumfries and Galloway the security of secure and affordable tenancies. The proposal shows that Scottish Labour is the only party in Scotland who has the ideas to implement real change to our public services, transform our economy, that will tackle poverty and create a society for the many.”

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