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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18:44 PM, 10th September 2022, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Darren Peters at 10/09/2022 - 13:46
Employees can withdraw labour but businesses can't do the same or never have done. They would only damage themselves. Businesses have to abide by legislation and taxation rules set by the government of the day. If businesses cannot operate profitably while meeting these requirements they generally close or go into bancrupcy. I'm afraid this may well be the case for a lot of PRS landlords if the pips are squeezed too much.

Claire Smith

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

But once the majority of properties are in the hands of the big corporations, I suspect that the rules will be relaxed to enable these corporations to make large profits. Being very cynical, I wonder whether some back pockets are being padded to make this happen.

Claire Smith

11:16 AM, 11th September 2022, About A year ago

Not being in Scotland, I am not aware of the rules for evictions if the reason is to sell. Could landlords give notice now or would that count as a winter eviction and not allowed? On what date could landlords next evict? If a majority of landlords give eviction notices on the same day in order to sell, would this send enough of a shockwave to cause a political rethink?


12:08 PM, 11th September 2022, About A year ago

The SNP and long term thinking and planning unfortunately don't go with one another,the SNP don't care as long as the masses support their short term populariset view leading up to indi ref ,and they hope will support them in a referendum to split the UK. .


13:10 PM, 11th September 2022, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Jessie Jones at 06/09/2022 - 22:55
They already did this.

Witness the argument that Tesco had with Heinz over the cost of their baked beans.


13:19 PM, 11th September 2022, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Badger at 11/09/2022 - 13:10
I don't think the government got involved though .... haha

robert fisher

15:42 PM, 11th September 2022, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Claire Smith at 11/09/2022 - 11:11
Cynical is probably right, the corporate sell off of Great Britain has been underway since the 1990's , whats left? Air and PRS Landlords.


18:51 PM, 13th September 2022, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Leila S at 06/09/2022 - 23:05
You could sell with tenant in situ.
That way you don’t have to evict.
Try ‘Portolio’
I’m just putting my property on with them today. Good luck.


20:45 PM, 13th September 2022, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Karen at 13/09/2022 - 18:51
Yes you can but it does severely limit your outreach if you do as only prospective landlords or letting agents woukd be interested. This also reduces its market value. As explained by my letting agent a new buyer purchasing with a sitting tenant may not look after your tenants as much as you woukd like to think they might.
You are better serving notice on the basis you are selling and as far as I read this is still a valid reason as long as you do actually sell.


3:29 AM, 22nd September 2022, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Dennis Leverett at 06/09/2022 - 16:50
. . . To the Happy Home with trees and flowers and chirping birds and basket weavers who sit and smile and twiddle their thumbs and toes and they're coming to take me away, HAHAAAAAAAAA

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