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'Hostility to landlords has cost Scotland 22,000 rental properties'

John Blackwood

Almost 22,000 homes may have been lost in Scotland during the last year due to perceived hostility towards landlords and concerns over increasing regulation.

A survey of Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) members also revealed that the PRS will reduce dramatically over the next five years, and that there has been a big rise in the number of landlords making mid-tenancy rent increases.

Its poll of 697 landlord members who own 5,480 properties found that respondents had already withdrawn an average of 6% of their properties during 2023. Extrapolating this figure across the whole sector suggests that 21,760 out of 340,000 homes could have been lost but are not yet reflected in landlord registration figures which are based on a three-year renewal cycle.

The survey also points to a worsening situation as 56% now plan to reduce their portfolio size (versus 44% in 2022) while only 9% plan to increase it (versus 13% last year).

Rent controls

This was due to perceived hostility towards landlords from government or politicians (83%), concern about proposal to introduce rent controls (75%) and increasing regulation (74%).

While 45% of respondents had made rent increases during 2023, in 2022 - prior to the rent freeze - just 8% of landlords increased their rent on an annual basis.

Chief executive John Blackwood (main picture) says landlords have warned for years that the combination of anti-landlord rhetoric along with short-term, ineffective policies are harming investment in private rented housing in Scotland.

He adds: “These chickens are now coming home to roost as landlords lose confidence and are choosing to exit the sector. This is reducing supply and driving up costs for tenants and causing significant harm.”

The emergency rent cap and additional evictions protections end on 31st March when landlords will be able to return their rent prices to the open market value.


scottish association of landlords