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Scotland's social landlords urged to rethink above inflation rent increases

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Scotland's social landlords urged to rethink above inflation rent increases

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing

Scotland's social landlords urged to rethink above inflation rent increases Scotland's social landlords urged to rethink above inflation rent increases

Social landlords in Scotland have been urged to rethink plans for above inflation rent increases to relieve pressure on tenants hit by the UK government's welfare reforms.

The Scottish Housing Regulator has called for a national discussion on how social landlords can keep the rents they charge tenants affordable.

Michael Cameron, the Regulator’s chief executive, will use his speech at the Chartered Institute of Housing’s annual conference in Glasgow to highlight that many Scottish landlords now base their business plans on assumed annual rent increases above inflation at a time when many tenants’ incomes are being squeezed.

Mr Cameron said: “In my speech today I am asking if it is sustainable for landlords to increase rents year on year above inflation. I recognise that there is a real tension between affordability and landlord viability.

"The relationship between the rent paid and the quality of their homes and the services they get is hugely important to tenants. We look for landlords to pursue value for money vigorously."

Calling for a discussion on how landlords maintain affordability, Mr Cameron will pose a number of questions for landlords to consider. He will ask delegates: “Are you content to allow costs to tenants to climb above inflation year on year? Does this risk locking increasing numbers of tenants into a reliance on benefits?”

Alan Ferguson, director of the Chartered Institute of Housing in Scotland, said: “CIH Scotland very much welcomes the Regulator’s call for a national discussion over how Scotland’s social landlords keep rents affordable for tenants.

"We know there are myriad pressures on landlords’ finances in the current climate but this has to be balanced against the intense and increasing pressure on tenants.”

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