THE TENANTS union Living Rent is delivering 100 postcards to the SNP, calling on it to focus on rent controls ahead of the party’s annual conference.

Living Rent collected messages at street stalls and outreach events across Edinburgh signed by local residents demanding the issue is central to its next manifesto.

Figures published by the union show average rent costs in the city have increased by 40 per cent between 2010 and 2017.

In response, Living Rent is now demanding nationwide rent controls based on a European-style points system that links the maximum rent a landlord can charge to the quality of the property.

Catriona MacDonald, SNP candidate for Edinburgh Southern and a member of Living Rent, said: “Everyone deserves a safe, affordable, high-quality home. Rent in Edinburgh has increased by more than 45% since 2010 – far beyond inflation and far beyond what is affordable for too many people.

“We urgently need change – rent controls are a crucial step forward.”

Maddy Kirkman, for Scottish Labour in Edinburgh Central, said: “Through collective action, Living Rent members have highlighted the need for rent controls in Scotland, especially in Edinburgh and no more so than my local area of Gorgie and Dalry.

“Greater regulation is desperately needed in the private rented sector to redress the balance of power between landlords and tenants and prevent ordinary people paying a huge proportion of their income in return for shoddy accommodation.

“Living Rent’s model, which links to local affordability and the quality of housing, protects tenants’ human right to a decent home.”

The union will be delivering the postcards to the party’s headquarters in Holyrood on Friday.

Living Rent also wants to see rents limited to a specific Rent Affordability Index for tenants in any given area.

SNP members will be gathering virtually for the party’s conference this weekend.