Helen Martin: Landlords not to blame for high city rents

If landlords are forced to sell, homelessness will rise. Picture: Ian Georgeson
If landlords are forced to sell, homelessness will rise. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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EDINBURGH private rents are the third highest in the UK. That’s not down to landlord exploitation.

Edinburgh property prices rose by 6.7 per cent last year compared to 2.3 per cent in London; maintenance costs are higher than elsewhere; to-let properties carry higher purchase tax; demand is high; property’s in short supply; and without rentals, those who can’t afford to buy would have nowhere to live.

That’s the tricky balance with super-punitive rent controls. If landlords (like me) are forced to sell, homelessness will rise.

The SNP understands that, hence its careful selection of Rent Pressure Zones.

Perhaps one other thing required is higher compulsory standards of maintenance and furnishings, speed of required repairs, and enforced registration with the council.