Scottish Parliament launches public consultation on new Housing Bill

Scottish Parliament launches public consultation on new Housing Bill

0:02 AM, 24th April 2024, About 3 months ago

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The Scottish Parliament is seeking feedback from landlords, the public and organisations on the wide-ranging Housing (Scotland) Bill which could see permanent rent controls being introduced.

The Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee and the Social Justice and Social Security Committee are leading the joint consultation.

it will focus on key areas like rent control, eviction procedures, tenant rights and homelessness prevention.

The Bill, which is still in its early stages, aims to strengthen protections for tenants, prevent homelessness and promote long-term housing solutions.

Rent control proposals should be dropped

Timothy Douglas, Propertymark’s head of policy and campaigns, says the rent control proposals should be dropped and the government should focus on making private rented sector more affordable for tenants.

He has met with Patrick Harvie, the tenants’ rights minister, to discuss the Bill and adds that Scotland needs an adequate housing supply to meet growing demand.

Mr Douglas has highlighted the damage that was caused to the sector by the Cost of Living legislation, and the increase in the rates of Additional Dwelling Supplement for buy to let property which is now 6%.

He said: “Propertymark has called for a review of all costs and taxes impacting private landlords as part of the Bill.

“When pressed, the Minister agreed that it is important that the Housing Bill works alongside any new proposals for energy efficiency targets and stated that he will have a conversation with colleagues from across the government about a review of costs and taxes.”

Keen to hear from tenants and landlords

MSPs are keen to hear a wide range of voices, including tenants, landlords, advocacy groups, local authorities and the general public, to ensure the proposals effectively address Scotland’s housing challenges.

Key areas for feedback include:

  • Rent control mechanisms and affordability measures
  • Tenant rights regarding pet ownership and property modifications
  • Strategies for proactive homelessness prevention by local authorities
  • Improvements to eviction procedures and tenant protections.

Landlords can submit their views through the official Scottish Parliament consultation portal to help shape the nation’s housing future.

‘Reforms that will positively impact the lives of tenants’

Ariane Burgess, the local government, housing and planning committee convener, said: “The new Housing Bill offers an opportunity to enact meaningful reforms that will positively impact the lives of tenants, homeowners, and communities across Scotland.

“Even before the Bill was published, we had already been gathering views from our Tenant and Landlord Panels to learn about what both need from new legislation.”

She added: “Now we want to hear from other stakeholders with an interest in Scotland’s housing policies, to ensure that the Bill is responsive to and reflective of the significant challenges facing the sector.”

The consultation is open now and will close on Friday 17th May.

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