Response to First Minister’s Programme for Government

1
Sep

Responding to the First Minister’s Programme for Government delivered to the Scottish Parliament this afternoon, John Blackwood, Chief Executive of Scottish Association of Landlords, said:

“SAL understands the pressure for legislative action to improve the current rental regime in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) and has been working closely with Scottish Ministers, as well as the charitable sector, to ensure the highest standards possible for tenants. However, any legislation should be proportionate and considered, protecting the interests of both landlords and tenants in a well-functioning PRS.”

“We are concerned that the Scottish Government continues to state their intention to limit a landlord’s right to end a tenancy, even after giving sufficient notice.  This could cause particular problems for some of our customers such as students or those renting holiday homes and we will be working with a broad range of interest groups in those areas to alleviate the effects of this move.”

“As the recently published report by the Commission on Health &  Wellbeing concluded, there is a much broader housing crisis across Scotland.  Legislation should not be passed simply to solve a perceived political problem which could reduce investment and cause longer-term problems.”

“Whilst it is true that a housing supply shortage is causing rents to rise in a few areas, in others prices are depressed and landlords are struggling to grow their businesses, preventing them generating the significant economic growth and employment they are capable of. ”

“The Commission on Health & Wellbeing report also highlighted the potential role for the PRS in solving the housing crisis through the creation of opportunities for landlords to invest in the construction of new housing.  SAL would be keen to engage with the Scottish Government to implement this kind of solution as part of a wider package of measures to improve the PRS, ensure tenants are protected and help solve the wider housing crisis. ”

“There is a high level of consensus between ourselves, tenants’ and housing charities on many of the changes which are needed and it is very much in the interests of our members for higher standards to be enforced in order to drive rogue landlords and letting agents out of the market.  These people undermine the excellent work done by the vast majority of the sector and tarnish our reputation.”

—ENDS—