Red Clydeside: A history of the labour movement in Glasgow 1910-1932


Magazine article entitled 'The Clyde Rent War', Dec 1924

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The origins of the Clydebank rent strike of the 1920s lie in the Glasgow rent strike of 1915. The outcome of the 1915 dispute was a temporary victory for working class tenants as the government passed the 1915 Rent Restrictions Act, freezing working class rents at pre-1914 levels for the duration of the war.

In 1920 the government passed the Rent and Mortgage Restrictions Act which permitted landlords an immediate increase on rents of 15% and a further increase of 25% if essential repairs were done on the property.

Although their was a call for a rent strike throughout the Glasgow area, there was little resistance to paying the increased rents except in Clydebank. In their determination not to pay rent increases in a period of mass unemployment the working class tenants of Clydebank waged a lengthy legal struggle over the following 3-4 years with the property owners and factors of Clydebank, effectively making the 1920 Act unworkable for a long period in Clydebank.