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Prominent Truss-backer speaks out against rent controls

A prominent supporter of new Prime Minister Liz Truss has spoken out against rent controls. 

Veteran Conservative MP Sir John Redwood, who backs the Truss economy policy of tax incentives for businesses and tax cuts for individuals, tweeted his opposition to the emergency rent controls initiated by the Scottish Government.

Redwood said: “Scotland's introduction of rent controls will cut the supply of private sector rented housing, leading to shortages. Rent controls are bad news for all those who will need to rent in future.”


Emergency measures - announced by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and coming into effect immediately - will see new legislation applied retrospectively to make private and social rent rises, and evictions, made illegal until “at least” the end of March 2023. 

Although the rent freeze measure will require additional legislation, it will operate retrospectively so effectively means an immediate ban on rent rises.

Scotland's Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green parties have broadly welcomed the measures. 

Douglas Ross, leader of the Scottish Conservatives, said Sturgeon had the wrong priorities and this was “unacceptable when people are struggling”.

Meanwhile industry opposition continues to mount.

Isobel Thomson, safe agent’s chief executive, says: “We need to keep a long-term perspective. Rent freezes and eviction bans will be very challenging to enforce or regulate and could create perverse outcomes.  

“They will place additional pressure on landlords, many of whom are already considering leaving the market.  We must avoid a PRS exodus at all costs – shrinking supply is the last thing we need right now; this will reduce stability and security for tenants.

“Keeping communication open between landlords, tenants, policymakers and the wider sector is absolutely key – it’s something we saw during the pandemic as agents played a key role in supporting negotiations between all parties.  We need more of that spirit now and a genuine willingness to work together. Divisive interventions which penalise and demonise will not help.”


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