The Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland has been warning that the new Housing Bill Scotland, aiming to provide greater security for tenants in privately-rented, must not be allowed to discourage investment in the private rented sector (PRS).
The Scottish Government claims that their Private Housing (Tenancies) Bill, which was published last Thursday (8th October 2015), will provide greater “security, stability and predictability” for over 700,000 tenants in Scotland by tackling unfair evictions and unpredictable rent increases.
Measures introduced in the Bill include new rules to prevent landlords forcing tenants to leave at the end of an agreed tenancy term, just because the term has ended, and other measures are included to limit rent increases to one per year.
Further, tenants would be allowed to challenge the terms of a tenancy through a new property tribunal system, and local authorities would be allowed introduce rent controls in areas hit by “excessive” price increases.
The director of Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Scotland, Annie Mauger, has welcomed the proposals set out in the Bill to drive up standards in the private rented sector (PRS), but has warned that there needs to be a balance between the needs of tenants, and those of landlords and investors.
Shelter Scotland has described the new Bill as “the biggest move forward in private tenancy law in a quarter of a century” and that it will re-balance the rights of tenants and landlords.
Annie Mauger of CIH has said: “Giving tenants extra security is very important, but we also want to ensure that businesses remain viable for landlords and investment in the sector is not discouraged.”
Homes for Scotland representing house-builders and developers welcomed the proposals to modernise the rental system in Scotland but called for “greater clarity”.
A Homes for Scotland spokesperson Gerry More has said:
“We now need to work through the detail, particularly in relation to the use of rental caps and how student tenancies are ended, in order to ensure Scotland remains competitive relative to other countries.”
Scottish tenancy bill "must not deter investment" – http://t.co/nWGdofgvob
— LandlordZONE (@LandlordZONE) October 15, 2015