New policies outlined in the Draft Rented Sector Strategy, unveiled by the Scottish government yesterday, could have ‘detrimental’ impact on the private rented sector north of the border, according to Propertymark.
The plans announced by the Scottish government, which include fresh restrictions on evictions during winter and the development of a new national system of rent controls, are already proving unpopular with buy-to-let landlords
The plans also include minimum standards for energy efficiency and could give tenants greater flexibility to personalise their homes and keep pets.
Proposals were also outlined to increase penalties for illegal evictions and stronger enforcement, restricting evictions during winter, designed to offer tenants greater flexibility to personalise their properties and keep pets, and introducing a new housing standard.
The Scottish government also proposes the introduction of a private rented sector (PRS) regulator, which it said would help uphold standards and ensure the system is fair for both landlords and tenants.
According to the Scottish government, the results of the public consultation will help shape the final version of the document which is to be published next year.
Daryl McIntosh, policy manager at Propertymark, said: “Whilst we support the right to an adequate home and the Scottish Government’s commitment to elevate standards and quality in the private rented sector, we fear the policies outlined in the Draft Rented Sector Strategy will have unintended consequences and ultimately be detrimental to tenants unless there is a balance with landlords’ rights.
“We have real concerns that the proposed system of rent controls will undermine the viability of the private rented sector and do nothing to tackle the perceived affordability issues, while further regulatory burdens will inevitably continue to force landlords to exit the market.
“If the Scottish government wants to ensure a healthy supply of good quality, affordable and secure homes, it must recognise the value and significance of the private rented sector and actively encourage more investors to provide homes. Only by increasing and sustaining investment in the sector can it achieve its aims, and the Strategy as drafted falls far short of providing the certainties and incentives that are needed.”