Scotland clamps down on landlord rights

The Private Housing Bill was passed into law by the Scottish Parliament last night reducing landlords’ rights to repossess, end tenancies and raise rents in some areas.

Under the new legislation landlords are no longer able to terminate a tenancy when the agreement reaches its contractual end, repossession grounds have been restricted and the government can impose a blanket cap on rents in an area if it deems them “too high”.

Speaking about the bill Scottish housing minister Margaret Burgess said the policy would “rebalance” the relationship between landlords and tenants means tenants will feel “more secure in their homes”.

She said: “This Bill ensures the end of a process in this parliamentary term that started with the publication of PRS Strategy in 2013, has included regulating letting agents and now culminates in this Bill.

“These significant changes will transform the private rented sector, creating a more modern tenancy, bring stability to the sector and helping to meet Scotland’s housing needs.”

Earlier this week delegates at the Scottish National Party Spring Conference voted in favour of introducing national rent controls for all Scottish tenants rather than just in zones as outlined in the Bill.

Alan Cleary, managing director of Precise Mortgages which is one of a limited number of buy-to-let lenders in Scotland, said: “We did review the Private Housing Tenancies Bill and concluded that we did not need to take any action and were comfortable that it did not introduce any material risk to us.

“We will monitor the debate on further rent controls but any prudent lender will have to consider whether this introduces additional credit risk that warrants lending policy revision.”

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