A GLASGOW woman has said she developed “serious mental health issues” because of the pressures of the increasing rent costs of her South Side home following the death of her husband.

Caroline Carson has said the decision of her private landlord to continually increase her housing costs meant she was scraping together money each month to keep a roof over her head.

After reaching breaking point, Caroline visited Govan Law Centre, where she was given help by their team of financial inclusion officers.

Despite now having moved to a social rented property, the mum-of-two believes something must be done to curb the power of landlords.

Caroline said: “I wasn’t irresponsible, my husband had passed away at a very young age and I had an eight and three-year-old. I wanted them to be safe in an environment where I could bring them up.

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“Then it snowballed into this horrible, hellhole of a life, that I spent everything I had, on rent. Then I ended up with a disability and that put me in a financial jail.

“It was real serious mental health issues, life was just kicking me so much, I couldn’t do it anymore and thought I don’t need to live like this.

“It is all about money, these people are like vultures. Everybody knows it is business, but can’t they have a cap on it?”

The 55-year-old’s decision to share her story came as Scottish Labour unveiled plans for a Mary Barbour Bill, which would seeks to cap rents and give more powers to tenants across the country.

Put forward by Glasgow MSP Pauline McNeill, the potential legislation could help bring some power back into the hands of an increasing number of tenants across the country.

The Labour politician said: “More and more people are living in the private rented sector, but the reality is that for many it is not a choice.

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“Housing costs are increasingly the biggest factor in creating poverty and unless we get housing costs down we will not be able to tackle poverty.

“We believe there has to be a radical overhaul of private sector law. What we have heard is of people locked into a sector they cannot afford to live in. We have to give people affordable rents and homes to live in.”

With a consultation now open on the proposals, also known as the Proposed Fair Rents (Scotland) Bill, members of the public have been invited to give their views on how these changes could impact their lives.

Representatives at Govan Law Centre, who help people in similar situations to Caroline, feel a move such as this could improve the lives of thousands of people.

Legal partner Lorna Walker said: “Govan Law Centre absolutely support the Mary Barbour Bill.

“Every day we see people who have been exploited in the private rented sector.

“It is essential for us that these are put in place to try and regulate the private rented sector."

Speaking at the launch of the Proposed Fair Rents (Scotland) Bill, both Pauline McNeill and her party leader Richard Leonard said they were hopeful of cross-party support for the bill.

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The proposals are based on three issues.

Firstly, the Mary Barbour Bill would cap annual private sector rent increases across Scotland at one percentage point above inflation.

The proposed Bill would expand the landlord registration scheme. At present landlords must register their property every three years.

Under proposed changes, landlords would have to update the register to include changes in what they charge for rent, building up a picture of market rates.

Another change would be in relation to rent appeals.

Read more of today's top Glasgow stories.

When a tenant appeals the cost of rent amount, officers and members of the tribunal be able to either lower or maintain the rent, depending on their assessment

However, unlike at present, they would not be allowed to raise costs.