TENANTS struggling to pay their rent have spoken of their disappointment at the failure of the Scottish Government to introduce a rents freeze.

Speaking to the Sunday ­National, one revealed his rent for a one-­bedroom flat in poor condition in Edinburgh had jumped by 15% to £750 a month, while a woman living in Glasgow said her landlord tried to increase her rent even though the flat had been judged unfit for human habitation.

They spoke out as it was revealed rents have rocketed to record levels. Data from the Scottish Government has revealed that between 2011 and 2021, rents increased in the Lothians by 41.7% and in Greater Glasgow by 41.4%. In the same time period, ­inflation increased by 24.3%.

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On top of these long-term increases, rents across Scotland have increased by 8.5% in the last year to average £896 per month for a two-bedroom property. In Glasgow, rents rose by 16% to average £972, while in Edinburgh, rents rose by 14.2% to ­average £1214, and in Dundee rents rose 12.5% to average £722 per month.

According to campaign group ­Living Rent, the increases are ­being imposed despite the majority of ­tenants ­living in energy-failing homes (EPC D or lower) who are ­experiencing huge ­increases in energy bills.

The Scottish Government is due to bring in rent controls in 2024 but last week MSPs voted against a rent freeze across Scotland until then.

Dr Andres Ulibarrena, a researcher at Heriot-Watt University, said he was shocked when he was told his rent would rise by 15% from £625 to £750 for his one-bedroom flat in ­Gorgie.

He said he would be able to manage but it would be “difficult” as energy and food costs had also gone up – but not salaries.

“I can’t afford for it to go up much more and the flat is not great to be honest,” he said. “I moved here one month before the pandemic and the hobs and the kitchen gas extractor did not work. They have now fixed the hobs but not the extractor.”

IN Glasgow, Elaine Thomson was paying £525 for a one-bedroom flat in Shawlands which she shared with a friend. Earlier this year, they were told the rent was to increase by £50 a month even though the flat was in a “shocking” condition.

“There were lots of things that did not work and it was cold and damp with mould all over the blinds,” she said.

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Brown refused to pay the increase until the problems were sorted but was then told they would be evicted.

Shortly after, they received a letter from Glasgow City Council saying the tenement had a massive crack and would have to be cleared as it was not wind and watertight.

Brown said her landlords had been given notice the building would have to be cleared but tried to increase the rent to recoup as much as they could until the work started.

“We moved out but they put the flat back on the market with a £150-a-month rent increase,” said Brown. “They said it had a newly fitted bathroom and kitchen but it did not have either – they were trying to get people in for the last few months knowing they would have to be evicted.”

Brown managed to get a new flat but said she was “massively ­disappointed” by the decision not to freeze rents.

Living Rent said the Scottish ­Government would face a “tidal wave of evictions” unless protections were introduced quickly to prevent ­unaffordable rent rises.

Living Rent secretary Megan Bishop said: “Though the government has ­promised rent controls in 2024, this is too far away when tenants need emergency protections to prevent unaffordable rent increases now.”