‘Difficult times’ predicted for Scotland’s tenants with new First Minister

‘Difficult times’ predicted for Scotland’s tenants with new First Minister

0:03 AM, 28th March 2023, About A year ago

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Tenants in Scotland could face ‘difficult times’ with the announcement that Humza Yousaf has won the race to replace Nicola Sturgeon as leader of the SNP and First Minister.

One critic says that Mr Yousaf’s ‘negative attitude’ to the private rented sector (PRS) will see higher rents, more tenant evictions and fewer homes to rent.

That’s the belief of David Alexander, the chief executive officer of DJ Alexander Scotland, the largest lettings and estate agency in the country.

‘Election of Humza Yousaf is concerning for the housing sector’

He said: “The election of Humza Yousaf as the new SNP leader, and consequently the new First Minister of Scotland, is concerning for the housing sector given that he stood as the continuity candidate.

“If he does persist with the existing housing policy of Nicola Sturgeon, then I foresee some very difficult times for Scotland’s tenants.

“The low numbers of social housing, the reluctance to support housebuilding and the negative attitude toward the private rented sector have all resulted in fewer homes for Scots, rising rents, increased evictions for tenants, and a housing waiting list that numbers in the hundreds of thousands.”

‘Not to replicate the mistakes of the previous administration’

Mr Alexander continued: “I would welcome a positive approach from Mr Yousaf if he is not to replicate the mistakes of the previous administration.

“The concern is that he will continue to view housing as a political rather than a social issue and seek to demonise parts of the housing sector.”

He continued: “A proper housing strategy requires planning over a 10- or even a 20-year period with target-lead proposals to ensure that planning regulations, land development, and financial incentives are developed to encourage the right homes in the right areas both to reflect the current and future needs of Scottish society.”

‘Fundamental rethink on the delivery of housing for homeowners, for tenants’

Mr Alexander said: “We need a long-term, fundamental rethink on the delivery of housing for homeowners, for tenants in the public and private sector, and in the way that new housing is delivered.

“Housing must be a major part of the new administration’s plans.”

He added: “New social and private building developments with large scale infrastructure investment would produce jobs, create wealth and provide homes for people who want to work and live in Scotland.”

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