Scotland looks set to extend rent freeze and eviction ban

Scotland looks set to extend rent freeze and eviction ban

10:07 AM, 13th January 2023, About 2 months ago 17

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Landlords and property investors in Scotland have hit out after the Scottish Government recommended that the current rent freeze and eviction ban be extended.

Patrick Harvie MSP, the minister for Tenants’ Rights delivered a statement to the Scottish Parliament on the Cost of Living (Tenant) Protection (Scotland) Act 2022.

His report is a requirement under the legislation and covers the period 28 October 2022 to 31 December 2022.

In his statement, the minister said that the unprecedented economic challenges are continuing to impact tenants and that after reviewing the situation, ministers are satisfied that the moratorium on evictions and the cap on rents in the private rented sector will continue until at least the end of March.

Ban on social housing rent rises will be lifted

However, the ban on social housing rent rises will be lifted in April because an agreement between the government, housing associations and councils will see any rent rise being below inflation levels of 11.1%.

Landlords in Scotland will also be alarmed to hear that the minister admitted that he is developing long term proposals for rent controls that will be designed to continue after the Cost of Living Act has expired.

Timothy Douglas, Propertymark’s head of policy and campaigns, said: “Once again, the Scottish Government has failed to acknowledge what is happening in the private rented sector and the damage that legislation capping rents is causing.

“Unlike for providers of social rented accommodation, there has been no task and finish group for the private rented sector to formally raise our concerns.”

‘Planned future legislation for the private rented sector’

He added: “Alarmingly, the Minister also failed to acknowledge the impact of planned future legislation for the private rented sector that also includes energy efficiency targets that many landlords will struggle to afford.”

Mr Harvie says that the rent freeze for private landlords in Scotland is ‘necessary and proportionate’.

He added that the ‘unprecedented economic challenges are continuing to impact acutely on those who rent their home’ and that the measures will be kept under review.

In response, the Scottish Property Federation says ministers are ignoring ‘the serious damage that this legislation is doing to the long-term supply’ of rented homes and the rent freeze will ‘deter much needed investment to provide modern, energy-efficient rented accommodation in Scotland’.

‘Rapidly becoming an unmitigated disaster’

Scottish Conservative Miles Briggs, the social justice, housing, and local government shadow secretary, said that the emergency rent freeze, which is backed by the SNP, Greens and Labour, is ‘rapidly becoming an unmitigated disaster’.

He added that the Scottish Conservatives warned about the impact on destabilising the social and private housing sectors which is now driving the housing crisis in Scotland.

The MSP also warned that landlords in Scotland will have no idea what rents they will be able to set from April – creating uncertainty for both landlords and tenants.

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Ian Simpson

7:50 AM, 14th January 2023, About 2 months ago

SOOO glad I don't own anything North of Hadrian's wall...!!
Current English Portfolio has seen six sales 2021 2022, and will continue to get smaller. Utterly pointless remaining in Buy to Let now. High interest, high tax, masses of regulation, courts ineffectual, no right of possession/eviction. All a total disaster. The few tenants I have left are paying regularly, but the slightest wobble and the s21 will come out, before the govt drops it for good later this year... Not good to make people homeless, but what other choice to do we have...? Clearly the govt/councils have got masses of money and plenty of spare capacity in their social housing, and actually must want to house all these non-payers themselves... ?!!

Jim Egan

16:12 PM, 14th January 2023, About 2 months ago

Back in the 80s thd government was actively encouraging self employed people like me to take steps to provide for themselves in old age. Tax advantages of Endowment Policies had been hit and private pension dividends were under attack. So, 25 years ago, I took one empty flat which was riddled with woodworm and which had been standing empty for two years, and after much work and exhausting my savings, turned it into a comfortable 1 bed home for someone. Over the years I added to my modest portfolio with 3 other properties, all now comfortable homes of a good standard, and all with recent energy upgrades to EPC 'C' rating. Now retired, my nest egg is again under attack. The root cause of the rental housing problem has nothing to do with private landlords, and more to do with successive government's failure to build affordable social housing. In the past, my private rentals were a short term stopgap for most people, now for many, they are the only option available to them. I will sell half of my properties in the coming months, as a direct result of the current war on landlords, further exacerbating the problem for those looking to rent. 73 years as a prudent working class man who has never claimed a penny in welfare, counts for nothing these days. Disgusted!

Elena Sh

20:40 PM, 15th January 2023, About 2 months ago

Mr Harvie says that the rent freeze for private landlords in Scotland is ‘necessary and proportionate’.
Mr.Harvie, have you ever strained your brain to think what is the cause of the rent rise?
Have anyone from the government bothered to realise that to freeze energy prices would be more necessary and proportionate???...
Or the common sense does not prevail any more among people who ,frankly speaking ,should not govern the country...


9:39 AM, 16th January 2023, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Elena Sh at 15/01/2023 - 20:40
Absolutely BUT you've forgotten the Government's"hidden" agenda to kill off the PRS. So they'll use any excuse, however flimsy, to attack Landlords.


10:18 AM, 16th January 2023, About 2 months ago

So let's get this clear.

Rent freeze.
Eviction Ban

When landlords don't invest in their properties anymore (not in terms of emergency maintenance etc, but lets say a new bathroom/kitchen/sofa), who will be the first and second to squeal.

Tenants then SNP

Can't have your cake and eat it.

Freda Blogs

13:10 PM, 16th January 2023, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Jim Egan at 14/01/2023 - 16:12Jim, you speak for many of us on this forum.

We are providers of sorely needed housing. I am truly incredulous that government, Shelter etc cannot see the consequences of their short sighted political actions (and very fed up that having paid £000s in tax already for all our hard work, they are going for us again).


15:00 PM, 16th January 2023, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Freda Blogs at 16/01/2023 - 13:10
I think that the SNP *can* see the consequences of their actions: What an extreme left-wing government like the Scottish National Party wants is an electorate that is entirely dependent upon its government. That's why the writing is on the wall in Scotland; and that's not just for buy-to-let.

Whether it's investment in a business, a buy-to-let or a bank an extreme government like the SNP needs to be able to continually buy off its electorate; it also needs to find someone else to blame for its own failings and politically that needs to be either the Westminster parliament, business or private investors. Anybody who spends any time in Scotland can see that the SNP dominate the media in Scotland and also that the Scottish parliament has no effective opposition.

In my view (and I have spent a lot of time in Scotland) Scotland is now a one-party state with an extreme left-wing nationalist government. Anybody investing in any business in Scotland needs to think carefully about the future security of their investment. And that doesn't just apply to buy-to-let.

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