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Scotland's 'rent controls tsar' Patrick Harvie loses power

patrick harvie rent controls

The Scottish government has been urged to reverse its anti-landlord policies after the SNP ended their power-sharing agreement with the Greens.

Tearing up the Bute House Agreement means Tenants’ Rights minister Patrick Harvie (pictured)– a key force behind the government’s rent control proposals and eviction ban – is out of a job.

The agreement included plans to implement an effective national system of rent controls, enhance tenants’ rights and deliver 110,000 affordable homes by 2032.

Last month, the Scottish government promised that proposals to deliver on its New Deal for Tenants were imminent. However, the country has seen annual rent growth faster than anywhere else in the UK despite being hampered by rent controls, as private landlords quit the sector. With a vote of no-confidence in First Minister Humza Yousaf looming, there are fears that voters are already shifting to Labour ahead of a possible early election which could change the political agenda.

Bute House

John Blackwood (pictured), chief executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords, says the Bute House Agreement has systematically damaged investor confidence in building new homes and forced many landlords to sell up, with institutional investors openly saying they no longer see Scotland as an attractive place to invest.

“Hopefully with these changes, we will see a more pragmatic and collaborative approach to housing policy that will allow for discussion and implementation of long-term measures that will end Scotland's housing crisis,” adds Blackwood. “We need a coordinated solution which encourages investment in social housing, council housing, the private rented sector and new owner-occupied homes.


“Only with that kind of coordinated partnership approach, can we make it affordable for landlords to continue to let out homes to rent, while increasing supply of all types of housing to make sure that everyone can have the home they deserve, at a cost they can afford.”

Harvie is out of a job because SNP leader and Scots First Minister Humza Yousaf exited the agreement, throwing the Greens, of which Harvie is a member, out of the power sharing agreement after the two parties became embroiled in arguments over energy saving targets. The Tories in Sotland have now called for a vote of no confidence in Humza, which he could easily lose, next Thursday.


Rent controls