Scotland’s PRS is forcing ‘unappreciated landlords’ out

Scotland’s PRS is forcing ‘unappreciated landlords’ out

8:00 AM, 1st September 2022, About a month ago

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Scotland’s unappreciated landlords are being forced from the PRS, a letting agent says.

The warning comes from Riccardo Giovanacci who says that more needs to be done to attract more landlords into the PRS – rather than driving them away.

He warns that the role of landlords will only become more important because they provide a vital and viable alternative for tenants needing a home to rent.

And, he says, landlords have a positive contribution to make in the ongoing housing crisis and they should not be obstructed or actively denigrated when doing so.

‘Trope of the rogue landlord is deeply embedded’

Mr Giovanacci, the managing director of Newton Letting in Glasgow, said: “The trope of the rogue landlord is deeply embedded in a great deal of current thinking around housing needs and, indeed, it can sometimes feel to an objective observer that it is the main driver of policies – policies which are pushing increasing numbers out of the sector just at the time when they are most needed.

“The reality is that the overwhelming majority of players in the PRS are well aware of, and fully on side with, the understanding that they can’t treat the market like the Wild West, and they are wholly supportive of cleaning up and regulating the sector.”

In an article for Scottish Housing News, Mr Giovanacci warns that the cliché of a criminal landlord appears to be driving government policy and working to push landlords away from the sector.

Rents for Scottish tenants

He also highlights that rents for Scottish tenants have not been rising at the same rate as those rents in England for the last 15 years – apart from earlier this year, when Scottish rents caught up.

Now, he wants agents and landlords to be more proactive and explain to tenants and their representative organisations the reasons why landlords increase the rent when tenants have to endure a cost-of-living crisis – including why landlords’ costs are increasing.

He also highlights that Scottish government data shows that, in recent years, rental increases have only risen at a rate similar to inflation and that it would be ‘wholly unreasonable to suggest that this should not be the case – after all, nobody expects a loaf of bread to cost the same this year as it did in 2012’.

Attract landlords into the PRS

Mr Giovanacci also says that work needs to be done to attract landlords into the PRS and he explains: “We need to attract property owners who are not in it for a quick buck but are more old school and prepared to invest for the long-term.

“There are huge numbers of people who, for lifestyle reasons, want to rent for long periods in the manner of the European model and responsible landlords are perfectly equipped to meet that demand – if only they are given the chance.”

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