8:03 AM, 5th October 2022, About A year ago 8
While landlords in Scotland are worried about the rent freeze and ban on evictions until next March, one leading politician says that ‘good landlords have nothing to fear’.
That’s the belief of Scottish Green co-leader Patrick Harvie, the Scottish Government’s tenants’ rights minister.
He was speaking about the proposals on BBC Good Morning Scotland when he said: “It’s very clear that people in the rented sector have a higher level of poverty and are more exposed to the cost crisis than the rest of the population.”
The Scottish Government is now planning to fast track the Cost of Living (Protection of Tenants) (Scotland) Bill through Parliament – and the Scottish Association of Landlords has said they might take legal action over it.
The new law would see a rent cap being set at 0% – which would effectively outlaw rent rises.
The proposals will cover from 9 September, when the rent freeze announcement was made, until 31 March.
However, the proposed law also has the possibility of extending the rent freeze and the ban on evictions for two more periods of six months.
On the BBC radio show, Mr Harvie was asked whether he was casting landlords as villains.
The presenter highlighted that lots of landlords had been in touch with the programme to say they were thinking about selling their properties because their bills were also increasing.
Mr Harvie said: “Some people are facing 20, 30 and 40% increases and that is wildly unacceptable, so we’ve put in this measure for the first six months.
“We have made no decision yet what will happen after the end of March next year because we will have to judge that in the circumstances as they develop.
“We can have the extension for two further six-month periods, if necessary, but we will have to continue to demonstrate it’s a necessary measure and proportionate to the economic circumstances.”
He added: “Of course, many landlords are good, responsible landlords who provide a good service and a good quality accommodation at a fair price.”
When asked by the presenter about the rights of good landlords in Scotland, Mr Harvie said: “Good, responsible landlords have nothing to fear from this legislation.
“There’s a package of safeguards in there if they do face unforeseen costs and there’s some flexibility built in.
“There are also grounds for eviction if they face particular hardship and have to move into the property or sell the property to alleviate their own hardship or avoid homelessness themselves.”
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