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Escalating 'housing emergencies' are Government's fault, say Scots letting agents

timothy douglas propertymark soctland letting agents

Letting agents have blamed poor Scottish government policies for the growing number of councils declaring ‘housing emergencies’.

It plans to invest £400,000 to bring empty homes back into use, but councils including Edinburgh and Glasgow have already declared a housing emergency, with more expected to follow.

The news comes as Scottish Labour MSP Mark Griffin called on Scotland’s First Minister, Humza Yousaf (pictured) to issue a statement on the issue by the end of the month.

Propertymark’s head of policy and campaigns, Timothy Douglas, says the First Minister must listen and then promptly act on what is unwinding across Scotland’s housing sector.

“It is an unacceptable situation that we are witnessing an increasing number of local councils declaring housing emergencies,” says Douglas.


The housing budget from the Scottish government has been cut, says Propertymark, which is concerned that additional local authorities may also turn to calling housing emergencies across Scotland if ongoing concerns are not urgently resolved.

Douglas adds: “Ill-conceived legislation which formed parts of the Cost-of-Living Bill has proven catastrophic and rent caps have made many landlords extremely cautious regarding investment against a challenging backdrop of higher inflation and interest rates.

"The proposed transition period within the updated legislation between 1st April 2024 to 1st April 2025 may be too little too late to support landlords who have already exited the sector or are planning to exit.”

A recent Scottish government survey revealed that 90% of landlords have flatly rejected future widespread rent control across the country. With the existing emergency legislation due to end next month, it found respondents felt the introduction of rent controls was already leading to landlords exiting the sector, and that this trend will continue – a view endorsed by the Scottish Association of Landlords.