Appeal to MSPs

Landlords say tribunal plan will reduce homes for rent

property for rent

Many landlords may quit the sector under new plan

Housing organisations will today make an eleventh hour appeal to MSPs to withdraw a rule change that they say will lead to a decline in the number of homes for rent.

Organisations representing landlords believe a move to give tribunals a final say on evictions, contained in the Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) Bill, will shatter confidence in the rental sector.

Tribunals would be able to rule on every instance where a landlord wants to end a tenancy, including non-payment of rent.

Landlords who want to sell their rental property, perhaps to fund retirement or to free up capital to invest in other areas of businesses, say a restriction on ending the tenancy will significantly reduce its value. Property professionals believe up to one in five landlords could withdraw from the market.

The Scottish Association of Landlords, NFUS Scotland, the National Trust for Scotland and Scottish Land & Estates have warned that although the proposals are intended to offer greater protection to a very small number of tenants facing eviction, they will backfire on a far greater number of people looking to rent homes at a time when homes are in short supply.

John Blackwood, chief executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords, said: “We are appealing to our parliamentarians to think again over these proposals.

“There is a tried and tested eviction process which already works well and protects tenants and landlords. There is a very real danger that if this goes ahead landlords will lose confidence and simply sell homes at a time when they are in great need.”

Sarah Jane Laing, chief executive of Scottish Land & Estates, whose members rent around 3000 homes in rural Scotland, said: “This is a prime example where the consequences have not been thought through.

“Whether you are a landlord with a single buy to let flat or someone with multiple properties, the prospect of not being able to regain possession of the home you own scares landlords, driving them from the sector and reducing availability of homes for tenants.

“The Scottish Parliament should take a step back and look at this again in further detail.”

A recent report by RentBetter, a three year research programme funded by the Nationwide Foundation on private renting in Scotland, stated that legislation affecting the private rented sector had a “disproportionate impact on lower income and other demand groups in housing need”.

The group said in its April 2022 report: “In relation to the PRS supply, there are clearly unintended consequences of layer on layer of regulation from different legislators on different things – tax, tenancy law, climate change, Coronavirus legislation.

“As legislators in Scotland plan to introduce more regulation, they should consider the findings of this research and the potential negative impact on supply and access to the PRS.

“Reduced supply and access to the PRS will have a disproportionate impact on lower income and other demand groups in housing need, compared to the general PRS population.

“Strong and targeted enforcement should be prioritised to mitigate market failures at the lower end of the market.”



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