Demonising the PRS will only exacerbate Scotland’s housing problems, according to one of the country’s biggest estate agents, who wants less rhetoric from legislators in 2022.

David Alexander, the chief executive officer of DJ Alexander Scotland, believes that a typically antagonistic approach undermines the service provided by the PRS and its essential role in housing hundreds of thousands of people.

He says legislators need to be wary of playing to the gallery in producing the simplistic argument that private renting is bad while social housing is good, and says the fact that it has grown significantly over the last 20 years reflects tenants voting with their feet.

“Both parts of the rented sector, along with owner-occupiers, serve the different needs of the population, and you interfere with these systems at your peril,” he adds.

Rental overhaul

Last month, Scotland launched plans for an overhaul of its rented sector that include a controversial system of rent controls, increasing penalties for illegal evictions, restricting evictions during winter, giving tenants greater flexibility to keep pets, introducing a new Housing Standard and PRS regulator and setting minimum standards for energy efficiency.

The proposals will shape a new Housing Bill in 2023.

“I believe that constructive dialogue, greater cooperation, and meaningful debate on how best to create the best private rented sector is the way forward rather than simple soundbites aimed at rallying the faithful while doing little to deliver on the housing needs of the population,” says Alexander. “Less rhetoric in 2022 and more communication is what is required.”

He adds: “Rent controls have never worked anywhere in the world and invariably lead to higher rents for new tenants and fewer properties on the market resulting in more housing shortages in the medium to long term.”


  1. It’ll be ignored! The sad s@cks have their own agendas.

    I wonder how it compares when you take into account how all recent policies have practically legalised theft!! Therefore, these cretins have indirectly caused a tsunami surge rise of criminals, as so many people now criminals, possibly for the very first time, I wonder if they actually consider it as it is; theft = criminal.

    Cannot be argue against, at end of the day – theft is theft, as withholding contractual obligations (monies), simply because there’s a notion that you can get away with it: theft!

    Although, I’d press for any sensible landlord to chase these moron scroungers, until at least a ccj, as future prospective landlords should know.

    I seriously wish I/we could have stopped paying our mortgage for a month or three, but not goner happen!! As even taking a mortgage holiday thro a pandemic is now took as a negative and blots your credit file 🙁

  2. Let’s be realistic. If we went food shopping, (which is as essential as keeping a roof over one’s head) without payment for the goods, we would be refused. Likewise with any essential service, electricity, gas, water etc. and said that we were not paying we would not receive the goods. Why is it different for rental property. The Landlord has to maintain it, and pay all the outgoing essentials and follow the expensive rules. Do not misunderstand, I think some of the rules are very sensible, e.g. gas, electricity tests etc. Saftey is paramount, but to me one of the most essential element is the respect between Tenant and Landlord.


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