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I’m being evicted from my flat because I can’t afford a 36% rent rise

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A private renter in Glasgow is being kicked out of her domestic of sixteen years due to the fact she can not come up with the money for the 36 in line with cent lease boom demanded through her landlord.

Barbara Welsh informed i she was “taken aback and upset” to be pressured out of her flat after being requested to stump up around £250 greater every month.

It comes as campaigners warn that tenants across Scotland could be hit with huge rent hikes and mass evictions as the nation’s experiment with a temporary rent cap comes to an end on 1 April.

As an emergency measure to help renters during the cost of living crisis, the Scottish Government imposed a 3 per cent annual cap on rent increases – or up to 6 per cent if landlords can prove their own hardship – in September 2022.

However, the Living Rent campaign group said some landlords are now telling tenants they want to charge anywhere between 30 and 50 per cent more in rent when the cap expires.
Ms Welsh, who has lived in her two-bedroom flat in Glasgow’s west end since 2008, had her rent hiked from £695 to £895 just before the rent cap came into force.

She was already struggling to cope with the nearly 30 per cent increase when she was recently told it would soon be going up a further to £55. The two hikes amount to a 36 per cent increase for Ms Walsh.

“It was already a real stretch every month,” said the 45-year-old university administration worker. “It’s been really difficult and I knew I just couldn’t afford anything more.”

Having told the landlord that she wanted to go to a rent adjudicator to agree on a smaller sum, Ms Welsh received an email saying the owner had decided to sell the property instead and wanted her out.

A “notice to quit” letter – the step before a formal eviction – was later delivered to her door by a bailiff.

“It was a big shock,” she said. “It was upsetting to get that email, because I’ve been here 16 years. It’s very sad to be moving out of my home and said to be moving out of the area I’ve known for so long.”

Ms Welsh is now planning to move to a cheaper flat on the outskirts of the city in early April. “I’ve essentially been priced out of the area, further away from work.

“I am worried Glasgow will become unaffordable. Moving out is something a lot of people are having to consider.”

Landlord groups argue that Scotland’s rent control experiment has backfired. They say hard-pressed property owners are being squeezed into selling up, which is making the shortage of rental homes even worse.

The Scottish Landlords Association (SAL) said earlier this week that its latest survey suggested around 22,000 private rental homes were pulled from the market last year. The estimate is based on the group’s members saying they had sold up 6.4 per cent of their properties in 2023.

“For some it’s no longer financially viable,” said John Blackwood, SAL’s chief executive. “Interest rate rises have had a major impact. And landlords are saying that if there are going to be ongoing rent controls in Scotland, then we have no way of recouping extra costs.”

Another unintended consequence has been the huge rent hikes seen on newly-advertised properties, since landlords did not have to cap the amount sought on the market once a tenancy ends.

“The rent cap was a very blunt instrument,” John Boyle, director of research and strategy for Edinburgh-based estate agent Rettie & Co. “It has probably caused the acceleration of rent increases on newly-advertised properties.”

In fact, Scotland has the highest level of annual rent inflation in the UK, at 11.1 per cent, according to a Zoopla report from February. The property portal found that the average rent across the whole of the UK has risen 8.3 per cent in the last year.

Mzaad
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Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury

Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury is the Editor of The Daily Dazzling Dawn. Previously, he has been serving in important positions in all the famous national dailies of the Bangladesh since the nineties. He has played a commendable role in journalism by participating in various events at the national and international levels. United Nations Conference, World Climate Conference, SAARC Summit are notable among them.

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