Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has warned that the cost of living crisis in Scotland is seeing more people fall behind on their rent, as new figures show a 37% increase in demand for advice around rent arrears in the year to September 2023.
The charity has previously warned about rising demand for advice around illegal evictions and rent increases, despite legislation being in place to protect tenants. The CAS network has been helping people facing issues with rent arrears, or other challenges as a result of prioritising their rent across essential spending.
CAS social justice spokesperson, Aoife Deery, said: “This latest report from Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) highlights the ongoing impact of the Tory created cost of living crisis.
“Over the past year we have seen a huge increase in people seeking advice on rent arrears, suggesting more and more people are falling behind on the rent.
Natalie Don MSP added: “Over the course of this Tory created cost-of-living crisis people are having to make impossible choices on spending, literally between putting the heating on, the weekly food shop or paying the rent.
“As we head into the winter, the CAS network is concerned that more and more people facing higher energy costs will continue to face difficult choices on their essential spending.
“Since the pandemic we have seen a range of legal protections introduced by the Scottish Parliament to offer protections to tenants, and the Scottish Government plan to introduce a Housing Bill in this parliament. That will be a huge opportunity to make sure the system works for people.”
“The Scottish Government is doing what it can to offset the worst of the Tory created cost of living crisis but is limited by the powers of devolution. Only with the real powers of an independent nation can Scotland fully tackle this cost of living crisis.
“Anyone looking for support on their housing bills, or any other bills, should contact either Renfrewshire CAB on 0141 889 22121 or Advice Works on 0300 300 1238”.