Response to Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill

8
Oct

Responding to the publication today by the Scottish Government of the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill, John Blackwood, Chief Executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords said:

“SAL and our Council of Letting Agents have worked constructively with the Scottish Government and other stakeholders, including tenants groups and charities throughout the development of this legislation and there has been a remarkable amount of common ground.  Landlords and letting agents agree that it is time for the rental regime in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) to be modernised as part of a drive to increase standards and protect tenants.”

“Our concern is ensuring these measures should not harm investment in a sector which, as the recent report by the Commission on Health & Wellbeing made clear, has a key role to play in solving Scotland’s long-term housing crisis.”

“We have particular concerns about measures such as rent controls, as well as removing the right of a landlord to end a lease naturally, subject to a reasonable notice period.  Whilst we understand the political pressure to tackle rent rises in hotspots such as Aberdeen and Edinburgh, we are concerned these measures could harm investor confidence and drive landlords out of the market, leaving a vacuum that could be filled with less than scrupulous individuals.  The way to reduce rent levels in a sustainable manner is to increase housing supply, not punishing landlords that are investing tens of thousands of pounds in their properties.”

“Similarly, the proposal to remove the right of a landlord to bring a tenancy to an end, subject to a reasonable notice period, will harm confidence amongst those looking to invest in the PRS, as well as making it harder for some groups to find rented accommodation.  For example, many landlords split their properties between students and holiday lets, particularly in places like Edinburgh.  Instead of providing housing to these two groups during the year, landlords may decide not to rent to students as they couldn’t guarantee that they would leave the property at the end of the academic year in time for visitors to the city.  Instead they will take more traditional, longer-term tenants, reducing the supply available for students and visitors.”

“We will be sharing our concerns with MSPs in the coming months and hope we can find solutions which ensures the final legislation strikes the right balance between protecting tenants and encouraging continued investment in the PRS.”

——ENDS——

or more information or to arrange interviews, please contact Graeme Downie on 07973 300 184 or at graeme.downie@orbit-comms.co.uk