THE average rent price for a two-bedroom property has soared above inflation levels in seven Scottish areas, statistics have revealed.

Figures published by the Scottish Government, in the year up to the end of September, showed that average rents rose in 17 out of 18 regions, with South Lanarkshire seeing the highest rise of 10.3%.

With the average inflation rate in the UK sitting at 7.6%, six other areas saw rental prices rise above that figure; Forth Valley (8.7%), North Lanarkshire (8.3%), West Dunbartonshire (8.3%), East Dunbartonshire (8.2%), Dundee and Angus (8.0%) and Greater Glasgow (7.7%). In total, Scotland’s average rent rose by 6.7% across the country.

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The Scottish Greens said the figures show the necessity of the rent freeze and importance of bringing in rent controls.

The figures display the private rented landscape before the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) Bill was introduced, placing a moratorium on evictions and a block on raising prices until at least the end of March.

The Lothian region, which includes Edinburgh, has the highest average rents in the country at £1006 per month, followed by Greater Glasgow at £858.

Dumfries and Galloway’s average rent for a two-bedroom home was the lowest in the country at £480, followed by the Ayrshire regions at £493.

The figures also gauged the changes in rents since 2010, with Glasgow rents rising cumulatively by 52.3% and Lothian’s by 51.5% – way above the cumulative inflation rate of 33.7%.

Forth Valley, Fife, and East Dunbartonshire also showed an above inflation increase during that time.

While rents in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire (3.1%) and the Ayrshires (6.1%) saw the lowest average increase in the past 12 years.

Tenants rights minister Patrick Harvie said the figures were “yet more evidence” of the need to bring rent down in Scotland.

He said: “That is why we took urgent action to introduce emergency legislation to protect renters.

“Our Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) Act is providing immediate protection to many tenants who may have faced in-tenancy rent increases during the cost-of-living crisis.

“The Tenant Protection Act has given reassurance to renters by temporarily freezing rents and introducing a moratorium on the enforcement of evictions, initially to March 31.

“We have also allocated almost £3 billion in this financial year that will help mitigate the increased cost of living.”

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The minister added: “But I also know the rental sector needs longer-term reform and that is why our new deal for tenants sets out proposals to deliver long-term rent controls by 2025 and to raise quality and standards in renting – aiming to make sure all tenants enjoy a good experience and recognising the good work of those landlords who provide it.

“Our action contrasts starkly with the UK Government’s decision to freeze Local Housing Allowance rates for the third year running at 2020 levels.

“That is another real-terms cut which will only further exacerbate the situation for Scotland’s renters, making some areas unaffordable for those in receipt of housing benefit or universal credit.”

The National: Harvie said the figures were “yet more evidence” of the need to bring rent downHarvie said the figures were “yet more evidence” of the need to bring rent down (Image: NQ)

Scottish Greens’ MSP Ariane Burgess added: “Today’s figures cover the period before the emergency legislation kicked in but underline why it was right for Scotland to lead the way across the UK.

"The new laws mean that the vast majority of tenants will see no rise in their rents until at least 31 March next year.

“Swift and decisive action with Scottish Greens as part of government is part of our determination to make housing more affordable, including longer term rent controls.

“Over this winter such action will save lives.”

Living Rent, a private tenants union, and the Scottish Government have been contacted for comment.