Scottish landlords have vowed to fight on after losing a judicial review of legislation that introduced the country’s contentious rent freeze and eviction ban.
The action was brought by a coalition of Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL), NRLA, Scottish Land & Estates (SLE) and Propertymark, but the Court of Session found that the country’s proposed measures were justified in law.
Coalition members expressed disappointment and stressed that urgent action was still needed to address fundamental problems in the housing sector, especially during the progress of the forthcoming Housing Bill.
Propertymark explains that the original aim behind the government's decision was to stop tenants from being evicted by a landlord needing or wanting to raise rents, but that in reality it has proven serious potential to lose much needed investment by landlords to providing high quality and safe housing which is desperately needed.
CEO Nathan Emerson says the PRS has been incredibly let down by a clear lack of understanding which is now driving good landlords away from the private rented sector. “The economics of providing high quality homes is becoming alarmingly unviable,” he adds. “Private landlords currently commit to providing homes on a huge scale across Scotland and they must be assured that they can cover all costs.”
SAL chief executive John Blackwood (pictured) warns: “If the Scottish government continues down their current path of meaningless tick-box consultations and ill-considered measures, we will build as broad a coalition as possible to make sure Scotland gets the investment in our housing sector that is so desperately required.”
The Scottish government reintroduced a rent freeze and eviction ban in September 2022 and those protections largely remain, with evictions paused and in-tenancy rent increases capped at 3%. In September, it confirmed that the measures would remain until 31st March.