Rent controls and abolition of ‘no fault’ ground for possession confirmed in Scottish Bill

The Scottish Government has published its new housing Bill which will introduce rent controls and abolish the “no fault” ground for repossession.

The Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill will mean, if passed, that tenants can no longer be asked to leave simply because the tenancy has ended.

Landlords will not be able to reclaim their properties on a “no fault” basis but will have to use one of the other grounds for possession.

In addition, rent increases will be limited to only one per year, with three months’ notice.

The Bill also gives local councils the right to implement rent controls in certain areas.

These would be where there have been “excessive” rises in rents, and where there is concern about the effect on tenants and the wider housing market.

A local authority would be able to apply for rent controls, with ministers making the decision. Consultation with landlords and tenants would be part of this process, with ministers deciding on rent caps for a period of up to five years.

Housing minister Margaret Burgess said: “The changes outlined in this Bill will give tenants greater security and stability in their home and community.

“It will also give landlords reassurance that their tenants will treat their property as a long-term home, rather than somewhere temporary.

“The private rented sector is changing. It is now home to a growing number of people in Scotland, and we recognise there are some areas where rents are increasing significantly. It is right and responsible to give local authorities the ability to introduce rent controls in order to ease areas under pressure.

“The range of measures brought forward under this bill will ensure the private rented sector is better managed, simplified and successful, and creates a system that works for everyone.”

The new grounds for possession, broadly, are:

    • Landlord intends to sell.
    • Property to be sold by lender.
    • Landlord intends to refurbish.
    • Landlord or family member intends to live in property.
    • Landlord intends to use for non-residential purpose.
    • Property required for religious purpose.
    • No longer an employee.
    • No longer a student (staying in student accommodation).
    • Not occupying let property.
    • Breach of tenancy agreement.
    • Rent arrears.
    • Criminal behaviour.
    • Anti-social behaviour.
    • Landlord has ceased to be registered.
    • HMO licence has been revoked.
    • Overcrowding statutory notice.

The new Bill is supported by the likes of housing charities Shelter and Crisis, but landlords and agents have voiced grave concerns.

Scottish agent Rettie said that introducing rent controls, even if relatively “soft”, will be seen as the thin end of the wedge.

Director of research Dr John Boyle said this would lead to disinvestment in the sector. He also criticised the Scottish Government for introducing a Bill not based on proper evidence.


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  1. Will

    It seems that politicians do not value the private rented sector and the communistic approach of controlling other peoples assets will do little in providing the housing people need. It will drive away investment.

    Rogue councils like Croydon are already doing enough harm to residential investment.

    Shelter and Crisis should put the money into providing rented accommodation and not slagging off the many private landlords who provide good well cared for accommodation.

    One will just have to hope this cancerous legislation does not infect England.

  2. jad

    Because Politicians have failed and continue to fail at just about everything they put their hands on ‘The Private Rented Sector’ is an easy sitting target  for all of them now – I hope they will still be smiling on both sides of their faces when we see the results of their stupidity – just remember that in all surveys, over 80% of tenants were not unhappy with their Landlords / Agents.  The Landlords who fail have a whole raft of legislation at present that could be used by Lazy, inefficient Local Authorities to bring them back in line – before they wreck the ‘Private Rented Sector’ launch your venom on Local Authorities for allowing everything to go worng

    1. Will

      I agree but central Government are the ones who empower the Councils.  It is poor legislation that has allowed Rogue Councils like Croydon to capitalise (about £27m) on the poorly drafted laws.


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