A letting agent has expressed his support for Shelter’s campaign in Scotland to improve the private rented sector.
Neil McInnes, director of Umega Lettings in Edinburgh, said it was a “no-brainer” to support Shelter’s Make Renting Right campaign.
The campaign includes pressing for rent controls and abolishing the no-fault ground for ending a tenancy. Both measures are set to be introduced in a Housing Bill this autumn.
In a blog that has appeared on the Shelter Scotland website, McInnes writes:
“There are many positive changes to legislation being tabled, to list a few:
- a new simpler standard tenancy for use across the board instead of the over-complicated outdated tenancy in use at the moment
- a new specialised arbitration panel to deal with tenancy legal issues instead of the tediously slow and poor experience of the wider court system
- compulsory letting agent regulation to professionalise a wildly inconsistent market
- simpler interpretations of legal requirements for landlords around electrical and fire safety
Much of the reaction to the Shelter Scotland campaign has focused on supposed rent controls and removing the no-fault ground for ending a tenancy.
However, Shelter Scotland is only proposing that private tenants be protected from unreasonable rent increases.
Shelter Scotland wants to remove the no-fault ground for ending a tenancy so that landlords can’t hold tenants ransom in their own home over not carrying out repairs that are legally required.
However, every other reason for a landlord wanting to bring a tenancy to an end (in my experience) is being left in so I fail to see how these changes weaken the landlord’s position.
It would be easy for us to bury our heads in the sand and take up a safe and predictable position around the changes that are coming but that would be irresponsible.
This is a golden opportunity to get it right and we’ll do all we can to help by supporting the Make Renting Right campaign and working with both tenants and landlords on solutions that are practical and effective for the long term.”
The full blog is here