A CALL has been made for "further transparency" in the Holyrood system after a Scottish Tory MSP with £1 million in shares in letting agencies attacked temporary rent control measures – but her party stressed that as her interests were in commercial property rather than residential, they were not relevant to declare.

Pam Gosal claimed the rent cap had been “nothing short of a disaster” during an exchange with Humza Yousaf at FMQs on Thursday.

The MSP for the West Scotland region claimed the rent cap had “exacerbated” the housing emergency and that the number of properties sold by landlords had gone up, a claim refuted by the First Minister.

READ MORE: Fears 'confusing' temporary rent controls could have 'knock-on' effect for tenants

However, Gosal did not inform that chamber that she has £1,102,500 in capital shares for three separate letting companies – though these interests are not in residential properties which the rent cap is directed at.

The Scottish Greens hit out at Gosal for not being “transparent and upfront” regarding her financial interests.

In response, the Scottish Tories said that as her interests are commercial, rather than residential, a declaration was not relevant.

Gosal (below) has £700,000 in shares, a 50% interest, in APCL Trading LTD, £240,000 in shares, a 33.3% interest, in PCMG Ltd, and £162,500, a 50% interest, in Strathblane Developments LTD.

The National: Scottish Conservative shadow minister for higher and further education Pam Gosal this week urged the Scottish Government to  "send out the clearest possible message that sharing [this sort of] pro-Putin propaganda is completely unacceptable in our

All three firms, as stated on Gosal’s public parliamentary register, are “concerned with the letting and operating of own or leased real estate”.

Gosal’s register was updated on January 11. In January 2022, when we initially reported on how many MSPs in the current cohort were landlords, her interest in letting agencies amounted to £700,000.

Gosal has increased her financial interests by more than £400,000 in that period.

The emergency Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act was passed in October 2022, imposing an initial rent freeze that would later be changed to a 6% cap. The new temporary rules will impose a ceiling of 12% rent rises until fuller controls are introduced via the upcoming Housing Bill.

"It is no wonder that those who have a financial interest in a broken housing market would oppose the steps that Scottish Greens are taking to support tenants,” said Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer.

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"The rent cap and protections that we introduced via emergency legislation go far beyond anything that has been done anywhere in the UK.

“The new interim system announced this week to replace the cap from April 1st will shield hundreds of thousands of tenants from sharp and unjustified hikes ahead of our bill to bring in permanent rent controls.”

Greer (below) said the plans have made a “huge difference” to families amid the Westminster cost of living crisis.

"The least that all MSPs can do is be transparent and upfront about their own interests when it comes to the policies they are raising in Parliament,” he added.

The National:

It’s understood that it is up to MSPs whether they declare their interests in the Holyrood chamber or not.

Scottish Labour MSP Mark Griffin, who owned a rental property until July last year, has raised his previous interest as a landlord during debates on housing. Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross also repeatedly raises his wife’s role as a police officer when speaking on related issues at FMQs.

A Scottish Conservative spokesperson said: “Pam’s interests are not in residential property, so there was no relevant information to declare.”

It’s understood Gosal’s register is set to be updated by Holyrood to reflect that her interests are commercial letting.

On Thursday, Gosal told the chamber: "The SNP-Green rent cap has not only failed to tackle the housing emergency but has exacerbated it.

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"Rents in Scotland have increased by more than 14% despite the rent cap and Scotland is the only part of the UK where the numbers of properties sold by landlords have gone up.”

Gosal suggested the policy had been "nothing short of a disaster" and asked Yousaf if he would "scrap the cap".

The FM said it was “the most Conservative contribution” he had ever heard in the chamber, adding that he would not apologise for introducing legislation to protect tenants or being on the “right side of this argument”.