LANDLORDS have hiked the price of private rental properties above inflation in the past year, new figures have shown.

The monthly cost for one, two, three and four bedroom properties all jumped well above the 9% Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation in the past 12 months, prompting outrage from tenants' rights campaigners.

In Greater Glasgow, properties for rent saw an increase of 22.3% (£191) in the past year, with 11 out of 18 areas in Scotland seeing above inflation rises.

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The figures released by the Scottish Government are based on advertised rents, reflecting the prices landlords charge tenants when the properties become available.

The current rent cap restrictions, where landlords are limited to a 3% increase in rent each year, only apply to existing tenancies.

The latest figures show the average rent for a two bedroom property, the most common available in the sector, increased by 14.3% (£105) to reach an average of £841 per month.

Lothian had the highest average monthly rent for a two bedroom, at £1192, while Dumfries and Galloway had the lowest, at £487.

Overall, average rents across all property size categories rose above the 9% inflation rate.

One bedroom properties increased by £68 (14.3%) per month to £648, the price of a three bedroom property rose by £121 (13.4%) to £1026 and four bedrooms jumped up by £196 (13.4%) a month to £1656.

And a one bedroom shared property price increased by £64 (15.1%) to £490 per month.

Aditi Jehangir, Living Rent secretary, said of the figures: "Year after year, whilst the rest of us have been forced to tighten our belts, landlords have raked in huge profits, hiking up rents and forcing tenants out of the places they called home.

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“The rent cap is a huge relief for tenants already in homes in the private rented sector, however as the hikes in new market rents demonstrate, unless the Scottish government acts now, thousands of tenants will be faced with astronomical increases when the cap runs out in March.

“From March, tenants need to be able to properly challenge rent increases until the Scottish government introduces rent controls to cap rents between tenancies and bring rents down."

John Blackwood, chief executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL), said: "The figures published today highlight the need for the Scottish Government to end damaging rhetoric and encourage investment in all parts of the housing sector in Scotland so we have more homes in the social sector, more owner occupied and in the private rented sector.

"Over 20,000 properties have been removed from the private rented sector in recent years, reducing supply and driving up prices.

"The Scottish Government must work with all partners and groups involved in the Scottish housing sector so we can develop practical, implementable policies that will lead to an end to Scotland's housing crisis. "

*See the list of prices for a two bedroom by area at the bottom of this story*

The Scottish Tories claimed that the soaring rents were a "predictable" cause of the Scottish Government's failure to build more homes.

Housing spokesperson Miles Briggs said: "This is the entirely predictable result of the SNP-Green government’s imposition of a rent cap, and their longstanding failure to tackle the shortage of housing stock.

"If landlords are prevented from raising rent gradually in line with inflation, it’s inevitable that there will be eye-watering jumps of this kind."

Minister for Tenants' Rights Patrick Harvie (below) said:  "These statistics show how rents charged by private landlords in Scotland have been rising for more than a decade, and they are yet more evidence of the importance of action to make rents more affordable.

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"There is no one solution to addressing rent affordability and our work to introduce long-term rent controls as part of the next Housing Bill is one measure being taken forward."

The figures are even more stark when analysing the change between 2010 and 2023.

Rents in Greater Glasgow for a two bedroom increased by 86.2%, in Lothian by 79.3%, East Dunbartonshire by 54.5% and Forth Valley by 51.9%.

Both Greater Glasgow and Lothian have seen increases in average rents across all property sizes, while Dundee and Angus, East Dunbartonshire, Fife and Forth Valley all saw average rent increases above inflation for all properties except one bedroom.

Elsewhere, Argyll and Bute, the Ayrshires and Dumfries and Galloway have seen increases in average rates of less than half the rate of inflation between 2010 and 2023, across all property sizes.

We told how the rent cap and ban on evictions was extended for a final six months in September, giving protections for existing tenancies until March 2024, ahead of the Housing Bill and expected rent controls.

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The emergency legislation the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) Act was introduced in October 2022 and initially froze private rents.

It was then amended to allow a 3% increase in a 12-month period, with landlords able to apply for a 6% increase if they could prove that the higher increase was needed.

Private sector landlords challenged the rent freeze in court, but a senior judge ruled that it was not unlawful.

Landlords had called for a judicial review, arguing they had been “discriminated” against.