CAS is pleased to respond to the consultation on the proposed Fair Rents (Scotland) Bill. This Bill aims to protect private sector tenants by limiting rent increases and by increasing the availability of information about rent levels across Scotland.
CAS welcomes any measure to make the private rented sector more affordable and we support in principle a cap on rent increases. Indeed, CAB evidence from across Scotland suggests that affordability of housing is a key concern for clients, particularly for those on a low income, and we believe that this proposal would go some way in making the sector more affordable.
However, we also believe that this issue cannot be considered in isolation. In order to achieve genuinely affordable PRS housing, CAS believes that any form of rent control needs to be accompanied by a balanced housing market. This requires serious investment in both social and affordable housing, particularly in high pressure housing markets like Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and many rural areas. Additionally, it is essential that LHA rates are unfrozen, with a view to enabling them to cover, at minimum, the bottom 30% of market rents once more.