Lead author Dr McKee, Senior Lecturer in Social Policy & Housing at the University of Stirling, said: “The poor experiences reported by the young people in this research is a sad reflection on housing in the UK today.
“Their negative impact on wellbeing, particularly mental health, underlines the need for urgent policy intervention to address the failure of the sector for lower income groups.
“Put simply, for those in low paid and insecure work, social rented housing would provide a better safety net than the private rented sector. We need more social housing to be built, and to stop selling it off by ending the Right to Buy across the UK.”
She said while the situation was better in Scotland than elsewhere in the UK – as recent reforms have provided tenants with greater security of tenancy and more predictable rent increases – there was still more that could be done to improve the situation of Scottish tenants.
“Whilst the recent reforms to the private rented sector in Scotland are to be welcomed, they may not fully address tenants’ concerns about the affordability of private sector rents,” she said.
“These findings are important in providing an initial evidence base regarding the impact of the new private residential tenancy in Scotland, as well as the ongoing consultation on reform to the private rented sector in England.”