Hostile anti-landlord rhetoric has caused scores of landlords to quit the sector, leading to fears that Scotland faces a chronic rental property shortage this winter.

The Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) says in just the last two months its members have reported falls of 80% or more in the number of properties available to let, while landlords have been selling up because of their fear of planned rent controls and a total ban on evictions.

Students’ groups have recently complained about the dire lack of properties to rent, which SAL attributes to an unintended consequence of the Private Residential Tenancy introduced in 2017, meaning that landlords are no longer able to offer fixed-term leases which match term times – leading to a reduced number of student homes. 

Nowhere to live

Chief executive John Blackwood says some landlords and letting agents report that they have no properties at all left to let, despite enquiries from hundreds of people looking for a home.

“At the same time, we are seeing huge jumps in the cost of buying a house, and with limited supply and increased demand in the PRS, many people will be left with nowhere to live, inevitably putting massive pressure on emergency housing supply as well,” says Blackwood.

“We are just beginning to see some of the consequences of the hostile anti-landlord rhetoric from the Scottish government.

“The Minister for Tenants’ Rights must stop portraying the entire private rented sector as ‘exploitative’ and understand the essential role private landlords play in Scotland’s housing sector.”

SAL is calling for an open discussion about the correct size of the country’s PRS and for a massive increase in social housing, which would lead to a corresponding re-balancing of its size.


  1. The England & Wales Govt should take note of this before blindly running down the same route! When LLs cannot effectively and profitably run their businesses they will take their investment elsewhere. If section 21 is removed without the strengthening & speeding up of section 8; if tenants rights are continually strengthened and LLs rights eroded; if EPC C become mandatory: I believe we will have a housing crisis of previously unknown proportions.

    We need a PRS that is fair to everyone, not just the noisy minority.

      • Worse than that will be the effect of higher EPC standards enforced on landlords over the next few years – Landlords of older properties will be forced to evict & sell up – madness.

        • My understanding is that there about 680000 rental properties that aren’t currently EPC C status.

          That’s a lot of homeless tenants if LL decide to get rid of their dud properties due to C status improvements being uneconomic.

          Got to be about 2 million homeless tenants UNLESS they all buy the rental properties from their LL.

          Somehow CAN’T see that happening!!

          So where will 2 million homeless tenants go!?

    • Agree completely EPC, C will be a watershed moment. Further all this talk of banning gas boilers and moving towards heat pumps Is taken without real world consultation with installation engineers. In old houses with unattainable levels of insulation and air tightness of new properties they simply WONT work. Heat pumps run at 40 degrees, luke warm. My tenants complain now if the radiators don’t taken their finger prints off.

  2. All of this whilst Scottish MP’s demand more routes for asylum seekers… Of course they do that because they know full well that no refugees see Scotland as a destination rather just a landing zone and get the first train down south.

    Scots nats are just a bunch of socialists who hate business so no surprises at all

  3. The majority of the UKs problems are because of political cowardice, this includes housing, politicians are not in parliament to forward their voters wishes but to forward their own agenda, they always pander to the screaming minorities because they get coverage. Mandatory IDs for everyone in the UK would allow the UK to control who lives here and who is illegal, who can vote and who cannot. I would hazard a guess that the UK is almost the only country in the world without a mandatory ID system. Previous governments of all colours refuse to make ID mandatory citing cost, civil rights etc but the cost and civil rights issues over ride our control over terrorism, benefits fraud, crime and who is getting social housing and many more areas of public life.

    • IDs have nothing to do with cost.

      It is all to do with the venom that the public will display when it is revealed how many illegals there are in the UK poncing off the ‘system’.

      Populist politics will come to the fore once the true figures are revealed.

      That is what the politicians are scared of.

      ‘Rivers of blood’ and all that!!!

      National ID should of course be compulsory for all to carry their ID.

      Will never happen though unfortunately in the UK.

    • Sorry, I have to emphatically disagree, Id’s are a very contentious issue, streets in the UK should always be free to walk.

      This, coupled with the people who fit into the category; will still evade at all costs and never comply, we are an island so anything is simplified, it will still continue similar to other countries that have mandatory Id’s, even Australia.

      In my and many others eyes – Id’s should never happen, a dangerous slippery slope that will open a can of worms, having spent time in such countries, I would always, always vote no, in reality it wouldn’t help, and any small % of any positives: is outweighed by lost freedoms that will never be clawed back, but then what could happen x-amount of years down the line, when another government gets in with a hidden nefarious agenda, nope not worth it and never will be as far as I’m concerned.

  4. We’ve sold two b2l in last year and if anyone leaves it gets sold been in business 21 years but 9 feel it’s a mugs game – idiot pressure groups with no evidence shelter -generation rent -who I used to support are giving us a bad name – the good guys are getting out and the less good raise rents

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