10:26 AM, 12th December 2022, About A year ago 2
Letting agents in Scotland say that 85% of their landlord clients are planning to leave the private rented sector (PRS) after emergency measures introduced by the Scottish Government brought in a rent freeze and a ban on evictions.
The claim is made by Propertymark who point to agents saying that fed-up landlords have told them they are planning to sell up.
And, worryingly for the government that brought in the legislation, 68% of agents say they have already seen a rise in the number of notices to sell – because of the temporary measures.
Propertymark says that the emergency legislation aimed at helping tenants in the cost-of-living crisis is ‘disproportionate’.
Using available evidence, Scottish Ministers must report and review every three months on the need for the provisions in the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act to either be continued or to end.
And now research from Propertymark has laid bare how those measures are affecting Scotland’s PRS with the organisation submitting its findings for the government to consider.
Propertymark also highlights that many members report that landlords didn’t increase rents in Scotland in the past year.
One agent said: “Many landlords who have not increased rent and had properties below market value for years are now considering this position and feeling they must raise to market rent from now on and keep up with annual increases, whereby before they had not considered it.”
Landlords look set to raise rents as a direct result of the Act because, Propertymark says, they want reassurances that they can cover a rental loss and cover mortgage and utility bill increases and pay for repairs and maintenance.
Timothy Douglas, the organisation’s head of policy and campaigns, said: “The measures introduced under the cost-of-living legislation are disproportionate to the scale of the problem and have only driven more landlords out of the sector.
“Feedback from Propertymark members shows that because of the measures introduced by the Scottish Government, the desire for landlords to remain in the sector and increase the number of homes for people to rent is stalling.”
He added: “Alarmingly, the temporary nature of the legislation means that the impact is not fully realised yet but if the changes are extended then there will be greater consequences.
“The private rented sector is a key solution to resolve the housing crisis but if the Scottish Government continue with policies that disincentive landlords this will only make the situation worse.”
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