Please Note: This Article is 8 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.

Increasingly, people who rent in Scotland are struggling to find suitable private rented properties for accommodation, that’s according to a report by the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL).

As reported by the Scotsman newspaper, 43 per cent of people looking to rent in the last five years have experienced difficulties.

A survey sample of 1,000 people found that 43 per cent of those looking to rent in the last five years have found it “quite difficult” or “very difficult” to locate a suitable property.

The study was commissioned by SAL and the Council of Letting Agents. Both organisations are now calling on the Scottish Government to bring in measures which will encourage private landlords to invest more in new construction in the private rented sector.

The study also identified problems renters face when they rent from a minority of rogue landlords, where they are experiencing poor conditions and poor value for money.

John Blackwood, chief executive of SAL, has said:

“Although the private-rented sector in Scotland sometimes has a poor reputation, this poll shows that a significant number of people are trying to access the market and that many of them are not able to find suitable accommodation.

“We are acutely aware of the need to introduce measures which protect tenants from poor treatment by landlords and letting agents and will work with all parties to drive these rogue companies and individuals out of the sector. At the same time, however, it is important to take measures which encourage investment in the private-rented sector.

“Landlords and letting agents must be given the confidence to invest in the housing sector as well as be encouraged to refurbish properties and make them available for rent.

“They need to be able to evict tenants who indulge in anti-social behaviour or repossess properties that have been abandoned so that properties can be let to responsible tenants looking for accommodation and help meet the increased demand.”

Comments were also received from Lettingstats and a private poster.

“…so much of the independent analysis being produced by ONS, Scottish Government, Census of Population tells us rents are reasonable, PRS is well integrated and dispersed across all neighbourhoods whatever their socio-economic profile. In many respects the PRS is the most equitable of all housing tenures in terms of tenant income profile, availability at various price points in almost all areas apart from the most expensive parts of Aberdeen, Edinburgh.

“Industry analysis from @Lettingstats on rent trends over medium term, Census analysis (e.g. as well as feedback from the largest private tenant survey undertaken in Scotland (6,500 responses from current tenants) suggest that the vast majority of those households in PRS are satisfied with their homes. Also very few private tenants (13%) have actually experienced a rent increase during a tenancy. And in certain markets private rents have been going down reflecting local economic weaknesses which rather negates argument for rent caps/controls.”

Private Poster

“If they’re struggling to find suitable private-rented accommodation now, just wait till the ignorant majority of the public, pandered to by populist politicians, introduce the range of punitive measures and further restrictions on the private-rented sector that they would apparently like to see in order to attack landlords and make things even more difficult for both providers and users in this sector.

“You know you’re dealing with a lynch-mob mentality, all vindictiveness and knee-jerk prejudices and absolutely no calm analysis of the economic reality, when an obvious demand that needs to be met is being totally ignored and a moralising vendetta against the supplier is preferred instead.

“I’ve yet to hear a coherent answer from any of the anti-landlord crowd to the basic questions about how we satisfy the need for a sufficient amount of decent-quality private-rented accommodation: Where are the large numbers of people who move short-term for their work meant to live affordably (if we rule out hotels on grounds of expense and council estates on grounds of unsuitability)?

“Where are people meant to live who move to a new area permanently but who don’t have the ability or desire to buy straightaway? Where are people who split up and quickly need to find somewhere else to live meant to end up? Where are students and trainees who are only going to be in an area for two or three years meant to stay if they don’t want or simply can’t get institutionalised accommodation? And, not least, how does making it more expensive, harder and less attractive for decent property owners to let accommodation actually help provide an adequate quantity and quality of rented housing to fulfil all of these needs?”

Please Note: This Article is 8 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.


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