More than a third of private landlords in Scotland plan to sell off properties in the next decade, leading to dire housing shortages, new research shows.

The Scottish Association of Landlords’ (SAL) survey of 635 members – who collectively own 4,214 properties – found 34% are planning to reduce their portfolio, prompting its leader to warn that ‘demonising landlords’ will only reduce supply.

Assuming a modest reduction of one property each, this would lead to a drop of more than 36,000 homes available to rent across Scotland, with the two most commonly given reasons being increased regulation in the sector (62%) and perceived hostility from government (60%).

SAL points out that reductions in available properties to rent in the autumn led to hundreds of people looking for a home, with many landlords and agents reporting that they had no properties available for months at a time.

The organisation warns that without change, this crisis will only get worse and says the Scottish government must ditch damaging rhetoric criticising private landlords, encourage investment in the sector and accelerate plans to build more social housing.

Kidding themselves

SAL Chief executive John Blackwood (main picture) believes those who think anti-landlord rhetoric is doing anything other than making it harder for people to keep a roof over their heads are kidding themselves.

“Our members are very clear,” he says. “Demonising landlords is leading to fewer homes being available to rent in the coming decade. 

“We also know that many renting tenants are normally not in a position to access homeownership. Tenants who cannot access the private sector will only pile pressure onto already strained social housing and homelessness services.”

Adds Blackwood: “Increasing the supply of rented accommodation is the only way forward. Otherwise, far from tackling Scotland’s current housing crisis, we will only see it get worse.”


  1. Yes lets reduce our portfolios as its just not worth it anymore. Too much legislation is prohibitive and now also discriminative. Councils feel they have a right to rob and steel from landlords, as a legitimate landlord best to sell up and put the money in the stock market or just invest in your own home and family. Thanks UK government and find your own solution. Reduce the portfolio of 20 years and remove 20 tenants and leave 3 for my retirement. It may be perceived as a success but 50% on benefits so good luck finding homes to those tenants. Guess what they were not bad people but commercially unviable to help society!!


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