Scottish Labour has launched a petition urging the SNP government to commit to underwriting rent breaks for public and private sector accommodation.
The Scottish party has also expressed support for the introduction of a ban on evictions resulting from coronavirus-related rent and mortgage arrears.
Commenting on the petition, Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “Owner-occupiers have been given the assurance of a mortgage holiday, meaning they will not lose their homes if they fall behind with payments. Renters deserve the same assurance
“Scottish Labour has consistently called for action on high rents and greater rights for tenants, through the Mary Barbour law that my colleague Pauline McNeill is introducing.
“We need action now for a rent break and a ban on evictions resulting from this crisis, but we are also clear that there can be no going back to business as usual when this crisis is over. Tenants should never again face the fear that they could lose their home as a result of a public health emergency.
“I would encourage people across Scotland, of all party affiliations and none, to sign our petition and join our campaign to ensure no-one loses their home as a result of this pandemic.”
Although the SNP has announced that the Scottish government will extend the arrears period required for tribunals to rule in favour of evictions, Scottish Labour has said this move “does not go far enough”.
UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has urged the Prime Minister to suspend rents “for those adversely affected” by the pandemic, and to extend the ban on evictions to six months.
In a letter to Boris Johnson on Wednesday, Corbyn also said the emergency coronavirus legislation – which has been published today – should be renewed every six months by a fresh vote in parliament.
The outgoing leader also argued that a comprehensive income protection scheme should be introduced, as well as European-level statutory sick pay for all workers from day one and increased Universal Credit.