Scotland’s rent freeze will see landlords ‘remove their properties’

Scotland’s rent freeze will see landlords ‘remove their properties’

15:39 PM, 6th September 2022, About A year ago 73

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In a bid to help tenants struggling with rising bills, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced a rent freeze for private and public rented properties.

The rent freeze starts immediately and will be in place until the end of March next year – and the government will also introduce a moratorium on evictions during winter.

However, Scottish landlords say the move will see landlords removing their rental homes from the market.

And one leading industry expert says Scotland’s move could see rent controls mark ‘the end of the private rental sector as we know it’.

Rent freeze in Scotland is necessary

Ms Sturgeon told MSPs at Holyrood that the rent freeze in Scotland is necessary because the cost-of-living crisis is a ‘humanitarian emergency’ that could cost lives.

The Scottish government will now table emergency legislation that will ban evictions during winter – and freeze rent until next spring.

Ms Sturgeon also says that the devolved governments need to meet with the UK government about the steps that should be taken to help people – raising the prospect of a UK-wide rent freeze.

The Scottish government is also looking to increase Scottish child payments which will pay extra money to families who are receiving some benefits.

Also, rail fares will be frozen by ScotRail until March 2023.

‘Landlords will be removing their vacant properties from the rental market’

John Blackwood, the chief executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL), said: “Since rumours of this announcement broke, I have been inundated by landlords saying they will be removing their vacant properties from the rental market, and I don’t blame them.

“Who on earth is going to let a property in the knowledge that they will be unable to meet their own financial and maintenance obligations if their tenants don’t pay the rent or their outgoings increase?”

He added: “Instead of helping tenants pay their bills, the Scottish Government has chosen to penalise people who have provided the homes politicians have failed to provide for decades.

“Once again the Scottish Government fails to grasp the reality of Scotland’s housing crisis and has chosen the easy option of attacking landlords for political reasons which will only further reduce the supply of housing, putting more people at risk.

“This is not a solution; it will only cause more hardship.”

‘Students and others who can’t find suitable accommodation’

He went on: “In just a few weeks, we will see more stories of students and others who can’t find suitable accommodation.

“We warned of this last year, and nothing was done but no one should be in any doubt where the blame for that new crisis will lie. It will be at the door of Bute House.

“Despite reassurances from Scottish Ministers that they value the role private landlords play in provided much needed housing, we are astounded that once again they have chosen to attack landlords at a time when they should be encouraging landlords and tenants to work together to overcome financial hardship.”

‘Rent freeze represents a potentially seismic new frontier’

Tom Mundy, the chief operating officer at Goodlord, the lettings platform, said: “This rent freeze represents a potentially seismic new frontier in UK lettings policy.

“While we understand the need to support tenants, introducing rent control could mark the end of the private rental sector as we know it by stripping away the central incentive which encourages people to invest in buy-to-let properties.”

He added: “There’s a major risk that this freeze will push landlords out of the PRS market at a time when pressure on rental stocks is particularly acute.

“This will squeeze the whole lettings market and create bigger headaches for the Scottish Government later down the line.

“Long-term, it could serve to stymie all future investment in the space and fatally undermine the system.”

‘A fundamental re-write of the UK lettings market’

Scotland's rent freeze will see landlords ‘remove their properties’ 2The chief executive of tenant referencing firm Vouch, Simon Tillyer, said: “This is a huge step from the Scottish Government. It could be the first towards a fundamental re-write of what the UK lettings market looks like.

“At a time when too many landlords are already leaving the market and there are more tenants than there are homes available to rent, we should not be taking steps that will drive even more landlords away from the PRS.”

He added: “I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this is the final straw for landlords and sparks an exodus. This policy risks creating more problems than it solves.”

Mark Alexander, the founder of Property118, said: “The Scottish government need to consider how many rental properties currently being marketed to let will revert to being marketed for sale as a result of this announcement.

“There is already an acute under-supply of available rental property in many areas of Scotland, and this will only serve to exacerbate that position.”

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Dylan Morris

20:23 PM, 9th September 2022, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Mr.A at 09/09/2022 - 11:09I’m fairly sure it also applies to other finance costs not just interest, such as a mortgage product fee. Talking of product fees lenders are extracting the proverbial, charging huge amounts now …….Coventry Building Society product fees now on all their BTL deals ……. at £1,999 !!!

Paul Routledge

7:43 AM, 10th September 2022, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris Bradley at 06/09/2022 - 15:52
It is quite unbelievable that pitician after politician implement plans they think suits their agenda to keep them popular when every decision they make has a reprecusion that they never consider and simply makes a situation worse. When will they learn that for every action there is a reaction and usually in their case a worse one. I guess when they bring in caps, abandon section 21, and levy more taxes it just means the next generation behind this struggling one will never have their own home, either bought or rented.

They truly all are a bunch of egomanical, self richeous, over opinionated, un-worldly wise w#####s
Rant over 🙂

robert fisher

7:44 AM, 10th September 2022, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by John McKay at 06/09/2022 - 18:57
agreed John, but energy firms have made Billions and have pockets deep enough to cope, their prices are not "frozen" but capped, A rent cap would allow reasonable rises for those LL who have tenants on well under market value rates or who have property with a historical low to be re rented at the current market value. The real issue is an eviction freeze. No LL wants to evict a good tenant , even those who hit temporary difficulties but non payment of rent , either deliberately or long term without course for regaining possession of your own property is not right. It is poorly thought out in terms of consequences to the market


9:08 AM, 10th September 2022, About A year ago

Think the sell off of PRS in Scotland has begun already ,there are a number of off market companies who specialise in selling portfolios here in Scotland, so they don't appear on the usual portals ie rightmove .
I've received emails from each one offering whole portfolios or individual properties to buy , which were not available last week.
Unfortunately with the way things are , I can't see me or any other sane landlord buying them ,so they will be lost from the rental pool.
Things could get pretty bleak for people looking for accommodation soon ,the public sector don't have any to rent the private sector is being slowly destroyed.
And all Sturgeon and her minions are interested in is how to look good for a photo shoot and try to upstage the UK government.


9:16 AM, 10th September 2022, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by John McKay at 06/09/2022 - 18:57
No you are plain wring as Robert has said. A freeze is not a cap. A cap wouldn't be quite as bad as a freeze if it was set at the current market rate for the area. Freeze is the terminology bring used in this report meaning that if you are currently letting at well under the rate for your type of property you will be stuffed. I can see why they want FREEZE because its so much easier to implement and it will stop everyone raising their rents to the cap level which is what all the energy suppliers did and took away competition.

Accommodation Provider

11:23 AM, 10th September 2022, About A year ago

This is legally impossible - with 15% inflation this year and the same for next year, it is theft. It's unacceptable. Are we now living in a communist country, has my livelihood and savings now been nationalised by the government ? Why not freeze mortgage payments then and get the banks angry at you idiotic SNP person with no brains at all ! This is on top of the UK government printing money that does not exist during covid, spending 60bn on track and trace which does not work and is not necessary, covid loan fraud of 45 bn by rish sunak, crippling the economy by not adopting normality like Sweden did (where less people died - as they prescribed vitamin D and vitamin D cannot get absorbed by fat people we have so much in the UK, but I digress) - and landlords got zero support and are dealing with "courts" that take many years to then give a guardian/shelter verdict siding with the poor tenant as usual. I am already running a loss on my HMOs as bills are included and I have not raised rents. The logical thing for me to do is give notice to all my tenants before freezes blow over to England and rent reform rules become law. This is not just the straw that broke the camel's back, this is illegal and will cause anarchy. I fear every landlord in scotland will pick up a stone and throw it at a government office. The government should have built enough housing they have failed for decades already - and meanwhile 800 people per day flood in on rubber boats and the government is impotent. And we all keep paying tax !!!!!!!

Accommodation Provider

11:26 AM, 10th September 2022, About A year ago

So the big plan seems to be that the government wants big corporates to buy from little landlords they force into selling up. Thos big corporates will have the very same issues and the same costs, probably higher costs actually, but being big like banks and energy companies - the government won't dare to touch them as they can afford lawyers and lobbyists and bribes to the government. Time to emigrate

Paul Maguire

13:04 PM, 10th September 2022, About A year ago

Bit unfair on the SNP as they HAVE been buying houses. Abroad!! 9 Embassies that they don't currently [and hopefully never will] need.


13:09 PM, 10th September 2022, About A year ago

Why is there not a Stronger more robust Landlord representation, lobby, in Scotland and the UK?
The current bodies that be come out with wishy washy statements which most people do not understand the councils and government just ignore them , likes of Shelter and living rent are making policy which affects landlords,
its like the Landlord’s of the UK have no say in their own businesses and livelihoods.
Things must change or there will not be a Prs left in a few years .

Darren Peters

13:46 PM, 10th September 2022, About A year ago

Small Landlords have no power to influence whether through representative groups or individually because there is no effective way to have a landlord strike; there for no threat behind anything we say.

unless you count exiting the market which we can’t practically do en masse next Tuesday and the govts want us to exit anyway (regardless of consequences).

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