Priced out of the Glasgow neighbourhood he represents; a councillor has said the city’s rental market has now seen him reach “breaking point”.  

Scottish Greens councillor for Newlands and Auldburn, Leòdhas Massie, has been forced to move five times in just nine months.  

The 27-year-old warned that while a Scottish Government rent freeze will give many tenants “a bit of respite”, it is “already almost financially impossible for people like me to access certain properties”.  

“I can’t afford to live in my ward,” he said adding that properties do not become available often.  

“My ward is classed as suburban so there’s a lot of houses as opposed to things like flats, and I can't afford that. I just can’t.” 

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Speaking on the “mad” rental market, he said the difficulties finding a flat come down to Glasgow housing becoming “too expensive” and a “perception that there is not enough of it”.  

Cllr Massie said: “I just can’t find somewhere to live and that is the first time in my life that has been an issue for me. 

“And I like to think that I've not been blind to the issue, but it's affecting such a large pool of people now. 

“It's really hard to get viewings, it's really hard to get offers, and you're up against loads of other people.  

“So there's an illusion, and it is an illusion, that there's a lack of available properties, but actually that's a lot more to do with the market and the private property market.” 


While wishing to remain close to his ward, he revealed he “pretty much priced out” of surrounding neighbourhoods in Glasgow’s south side.  

But it is not just neighbourhoods that are becoming too steep for him to afford alongside bills.  

The councillor said: “I can’t now ever rent a one-bedroom flat. I can't afford that on my wage, and the price of rent is high.  

“The deposits are also really expensive. A lot of the flats I’ve been looking at are two months’ worth of rent and I would have to pay rent as well, which is just an astronomical amount of money for me.”  

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 Earlier this month, the First Minister of Scotland confirmed a rent freeze for public and private properties and a ban on winter evictions.  

The emergency legislation would see landlords stopped from raising property prices until at least March 2023, but the Cllr Massie warned that is “relatively short-term”.  

He added: “We need to extend that further while we basically hash out the issues with proper rent controls.  

Calling for better and more thorough rent control, he said that was the “main thing” that should be done to ensure the renting market does not run amok. 

“It is the thing that is the most impactful and that will have a trickle-down effect not just for people on existing tenancy but also people looking for accommodation,” he added. 

“It stops the letting market from just running away with whatever they dictate what they want the cost of housing to be.” 

Having rented rooms as a lodger since moving to Glasgow, it is now also difficult for him to get his name on a lease.  

He is now once again searching for a new home after a short-term rental in Shawlands ended and has applied for social housing. 

“I couch surfed for the first two weeks of my term as a councillor,” he said. “Just because when I got elected it was also a time when a short-term sort of lodger tenancy was up in the flat I was in.” 

With renting a room often more affordable than seeking and securing a property, it has meant he also cannot fulfil some of the requests made by private landlords.  

“They want a reference for utility bills for six months that are in your name as someone who basically had no other option but to rent rooms and be a lodger, I don’t have that.” 

He does not have a gas bill in his name after 2020 as the bill remained in the name of the property owner.  

“I like to emphasize I have had a relatively privileged life and I have people around me and resources, so when it comes to it, I'm not somebody that's going to fall into extreme debt.  

“That is not representative of a lot of people who are in around about the same situation as me.”