Landlord and housing groups have made an 11th hour appeal to the Scottish Parliament to ditch potentially devastating new eviction laws.

It is due to debate the final stage of the Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) Bill tomorrow (28th June) which includes plans to give tribunals the final say on tenant evictions in Scotland. All eviction grounds would become discretionary, including non-payment of rent, and would also require the First-tier Tribunal to consider whether landlords had complied with a pre-action protocol for rent arrears eviction cases.

Shatter confidence

Organisations which represent landlords believe the measure will shatter confidence in the rental sector and lead to large numbers of homes being withdrawn from the market. For those landlords who want to sell their rental property – either to fund retirement or to free up capital – not being able to end the tenancy will significantly reduce its value. They estimate up to one in five landlords could withdraw from the market as a result.

The Scottish Association of Landlords, NFUS Scotland, the National Trust for Scotland and Scottish Land & Estates have warned that although the proposals aim 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.

Real danger

John Blackwood, chief executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords, says: “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.”

2 COMMENTS

  1. I would like you to consider my current situation as a fabulous tenant who is being evicted under the grounds that she wants her son to move in for university purposes.

    if the current law with landlord/ladies needing to apply for a tribunal changes, then what about good tenants particularly those with disabilities?

    This is my situation:

    I have four disabilities: a learning disability, a weakness down the right side of my body, particularly affecting my hand and arm and blood circulation, epilepsy and a hearing issue. This was the result from experiencing a brain hemorrhage that was inflected upon me because of Margaret Thatcher’s decision to take away vitamin K injections from all newborn babies in the 1980s.

    In the nine years this September 7th, I have obeyed the contract in full: I have never missed a rent payment including Covid-19 years, when I lost my event management job! I’ve reported anything that has broken. I have reported leakages as and when they happen. I have even taken leadership in sorting the the latest leak drama. I have repainted her bathroom when the owner of the above flat, (where the leaks came from) did not take full responsibility to repaint to exactly the way it was, always leaving the trails of water stains and accepted where my landlady did not want me to change or update things.

    She has always been a good landlady to me and the agency have been mostly professional and caring, so it was a big bombshell of a letter to read she wanted me out.

    I went to Citizens advice bureau and the law centre and they are both supporting me. Citizens advice suggested I should try to negotiate for six months. I did this, and the landlady refused.

    This was part of my e-mail stating my reasons for six months notice.

    These are my reasons below:

    – [ ] So that I have enough time to find an appropriate flat for my needs.

    I do not drive because of epilepsy and right side of body disability, so living in an appropriate area that has everything at my fingertips is important. For example, hospital, doctors, dentist, post office, food shops, sports centre, a good bus connection to work, job centre and town, and useful shops like the clothes alteration and a diy shop.

    – [ ] With the landlady decision of asking me to leave, has enlightened my dad and I to realise I am not really safe and secure in private rental properties, especially if he was to die, like my mum in the time I was living the last three months of notice, or being in a new rented property.

    Therefore Dad and I have agreed that trying to buy a flat than to find a flat to rent is going to be my only safety net, so that is my aim – to buy, not to rent, even if a guarantor mortgage is all I can get.

    I hope landlords out there who disagree with the Scottish debate on the bill about keeping tribunal eviction on going can feel some compassion! I really love this flat and really loved how my landlady treated me until I got this letter to leave!

  2. Absolutely shocked and gutted that this law has passed tonight.

    Taking no consideration of the facts and empirical evidence submitted by all of the leading organisations such as the Scottish Landlord Association and National Farmer’s Union of Scotland, the politicians who voted for this bill, dismissed all of the legitimate concerns of landlords across the country to thrust through this ill conceived and quite frankly, dangerous piece of legislation, regardless of the consequences that would ensue.

    It is official – the PRS is dead in Scotland. There is absolutely no economic viability in operating as a private landlord in Scotland if one is not allowed to repossess his/her property. The country has heavily steered towards a socialist/marxist direction and with the upcoming rent controls and other regulatory shenanigans that are to follow, it leaves me with no choice but to sell up my property.

    I predict two of the following outcomes to occur following the passing of this debacle of a legislation:

    01 – Many landlords like myself will now sell up and exit the private rental sector, thereby leading to a significant reduction of rental properties in the market, only to end up harming the interests of the very constituents that these politicians claim to represent.

    02 – The government will be sued as a result of violating private property rights under Article 1 Protocol 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights. There is even case law to support this (see case of Salvesen v. Riddell [2013] UKSC 22.)

    Enough is enough. Since, the very introduction of the PRT in 2017, there has been a full on assault and war on landlords, who include the average everyday person / pensioner who relies on his/her property income to
    support themselves (Not all landlords are money barons/tycoons.) All of these consultations with stakeholders have proven to be a farce and landlords are now being completely stripped and deprived of their property rights.

    The reckless and negligent policy making in Parliament, will prove to become very detrimental in time as many more landlords head towards the exit door. This truly is the beginning of the end for landlords across the country.

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