Private sector rent levels have been increasing at some of the highest rates in the UK and are now double the cost of social housing. This is particularly acute in some cities. The growth of the private sector is largely because the government is not supporting the building of sufficient social housing. UNISON believes that 10,000 homes a year are needed and we have set out in our housing finance plans how these can be funded. http://www.unisonscotland.org.uk/housing/FundingAndBuildingTheHomesScotlandNeeds_Mar2013.pdf
For those who chose to rent in the private sector there should be a system of rent controls similar to those that operate in Germany. Shelter Scotland has set out how this might work in Scotland.