Last week, the Scottish Parliament did a U-turn and decided to take evidence on the Fair Rents (Scotland) Bill. You can now have your say on the bill at parliament.scot/fair-rents-bill until 7 December. Please do so.
The bill would enable private rent increases in Scotland to be capped at no more than inflation plus one per cent; provide tenants with a right to seek a lower rent where justified; and require rent and tenancy details to be disclosed to local authorities.
However Govan Law Centre has been behind a long campaign to get here. Local Government and Communities Committeee (LGCC)effectively binned the bill despite the fact committees have no power to derail bills.
Mike Dailly, GLC solicitor advocate, explains the story to John Beattie on BBC Radio Scotland Drivetime:
When the Parliament’s Local Government and Communities Committeee (LGCC) met on June 26th to consider how it would proceed with the Fair Rents (Scotland) Bill it did so privately. There was no minute taken, no vote, no public record whatsoever in relation to this bill. No declarations of conflicts of interest – despite two LGCC members being on record as private landlords.
GLC represented Ms Ely as she wanted to challenge the Fair Rents (Scotland) Bill being disposed of in a private meeting of a committee when the Parliament’s own rules made it clear that shouldn’t happen.
We took our client’s case to the Inner House on appeal. Some weeks later the LGCC changed its mind. Many tens of thousands of private renters will welcome that.