SCOTLAND'S tenants and trade unions have called for emergency protections amid concerns over the end of the rent cap.

Trade union leaders and campaign groups joined Living Rent in hitting out at First Minister Humza Yousaf, Housing Minister Paul McLennan, and Minister for Tenants Rights, Patrick Harvie in an open letter.

The open letter includes calls for further protections for tenants and calls for the Government to “act now” to prevent “disastrous consequences”.

Living Rent argues that the “transitional measures” to come into place on March 31, when the rent cap ends, are confusing and will be difficult to enforce.

READ MORE: Scottish rent cap: When does it end? Everything you need to know

In response to the rent cap ending, Harvie announced plans to temporarily change the rent adjudication process until April 1, 2025.

The union also adds that tenants will be “pushed to the edge” by unaffordable rents which will act as de facto evictions and push more people into poverty.

It comes as the last year saw three local authorities declare housing emergencies, and the last decade has seen rents increase by 62% across Scotland - rising by 88.5% in Edinburgh and 95.5% in Glasgow.

Living Rent was joined by leaders from the Scottish Trade Union Congress, UNISON, Unite, GMB, UCU, the RMT, PCS, and the CWU.

Signatories to the letter included Roz Foyer, general secretary of the Scottish Trades Union Congress, Lilian Macer, regional secretary UNISON Scotland, Derek Thomson, Unite Scottish secretary, Gordon Martin regional organiser RMT Scotland, Jeanette Findlay, president UCU Scotland, Cat Boyd, PCS national officer, BD Owens, Scottish Artists Union president and Ellie Gomersall, president of NUS Scotland.

The National: Living Rent protest

Living Rent’s national campaign’s officer Ruth Gilbert said: “Tenants will be pushed to the edge by the end of the rent cap and eviction ban. The rent cap provided a temporary bandage over a growing crisis, but it has not addressed the fundamental issue that rents are out of control.

“Government regulation is simply not strong enough. Landlords are exploiting every loophole and opportunity to increase rent and displace tenants while blaming the existing rent cap for an out of control market.

“Rents in Scotland have continued to rise in line with the rest of the UK because the temporary measures don’t go far enough, and don’t apply between tenancies. The solution to this is a robust system of rent controls tied to the property, not the tenancy, which protects all tenants.

“With the Scottish Government receiving criticism from across the board due to its cuts to affordable housing and its ending of the rent cap, it is clear it urgently needs to review its housing strategy, reverse its cuts to affordable housing, and introduce a national rent cap and eviction ban. Without this we will see a tidal wave of rent increases, de-facto evictions and a sharp rise in homelessness.”