Harmony required

Time to stop ‘demonising’ private rented sector

Private rented property are a key part of the housing mix, says David Alexander

Scotland’s property market would be best served if there was greater recognition of the private rented sector, according to a lettings agent.

David Alexander of DJ Alexander said that too often there has been an “antagonistic approach” to the private rented sector which undermines the service it provides.

He said there is “great concern” that the Scottish Government consultation paper ‘New deal for Tenants’ mentions rent controls and was launched without a supporting quote from any landlord organisation or letting company.

“Rent controls have never worked anywhere in the world and invariably lead to higher rents for new tenants and fewer properties on the market resulting in more housing shortages in the medium to long term,” he said. 

The latest Scottish Housing Survey published in 2019, reveals that 14% of the Scottish population (around 340,000 households) live in the PRS. This has nearly trebled since 1999 when just 5% of the population lived in privately rented homes.

Over the same period the percentage of Scots living in social housing has declined from 32% in 1999 to around 24% in the latest period (roughly 590,000 households). The remaining 62% are owner occupied properties.

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