Rents up 5.3pc since Scottish election

Average rents currently stand at £536 a month after increasing by 1.3% year-on-year to January 2015, half the rate of rent growth in England and Wales.

Brian Moran, area lettings director at Your Move, said: “Scottish tenants are having a much smoother ride than their counterparts south of the border, with rental prices in Scotland climbing at a considerably slower pace.

“Despite snowballing demand for homes to let, the private rented sector has managed to shelter tenants from the worst extremes of rent inflation, and rents have navigated an affordable route broadly trailing inflation. “

He added: “The overall story since the previous election papers over the different chapters we’ve experienced within this parliament.

“Scottish rents were largely on pause throughout 2011 and 2012, and it was the abolition of tenancy fees in November 2012 which jolted to life a sudden uptick in rents, as costs were recouped other ways.”

In the past year rents in Edinburgh and the Lothians have risen by 3.8% (£22), however they dropped by 1.2% in January from the month before.

Moran said: “Housing is a policy area that impacts every one of us, and ahead of the general election tenants will have their ears on the ground to listen out for any rumbles of further changes to lettings legislation that might impact the sector.

“Investment in homes to let needs to keep pace with demand, and landlord confidence is an essential ointment to soothe the pains of the current housing shortage, and make rent rises an easier pill to swallow for tenants.”