The Scottish Government’s announcement that all grounds for possession will remain discretionary until at least 30th September has been met with dismay by agents and landlords.
Although temporary changes to notice periods introduced at the start of the pandemic will now return to pre-pandemic terms, the continuation of discretionary grounds for possession gives the government time to introduce permanent changes in the shape of the Recovery and Reform Bill, according to Propertymark policy manager Daryl Mcintosh.
He says that nearly 77% of respondents opposed such a move when it was consulted on last year, and that in a recent consultation there was no evidence to support the removal of mandatory grounds for possession.
Mcintosh warns that if the Bill is introduced, it has the devastating potential to push huge numbers of landlords already facing increasing regulatory pressure out of the market.
He adds that the move shows a wilful and continued disregard of the value of the private rented sector.
“Continuing to enforce restrictive legislation on private landlords at a time when the rest of society is returning to pre-pandemic ways of living and working is unacceptable, and the long-term outcomes of such intervention are likely to prove extremely damaging for the sector.”
John Blackwood (pictured), the Scottish Association of Landlords chief executive, says although he’s delighted that unreasonable notice periods are no longer required, the government fails to recognise that allowing all grounds to remain discretionary undermines the confidence of landlords and risks a further reduction in the availability of PRS properties.
He tells LandlordZONE: “At a time when we are experiencing a shortage of property to rent in Scotland, the government needs to rethink its anti-landlord rhetoric and encourage more investment in homes for rent.”