Scottish rent freeze is ‘unravelling’

Scottish rent freeze is ‘unravelling’

15:32 PM, 12th September 2022, About 3 weeks ago 20

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The rent freeze that was announced last week for private landlords in Scotland has been criticised by one leading letting agent who says that the plan is already ‘unravelling’.

The agent made his call after Patrick Harvie, a Green minister, told the Daily Record that the move was temporary, but he also hinted that the rent freeze may not expire at the end of March.

He told the newspaper that circumstances may change, and the Scottish Government would revisit the rent freeze and the moratorium on evictions and decide whether they should continue.

Mr Harvie also said that decisions would have to be made for different sectors and pointed out that social landlords in Scotland have a duty to consult with tenants before a rent rise is imposed and any decision must be linked to affordability.

The impact of the rent freeze needs to be revisited

He said that since the same protection is not available in the private rented sector, the impact of the rent freeze needs to be revisited to see whether it continues.

However, he also pointed out that private landlords who tried to keep the rent low during the Covid lockdown were respected by him, but he criticised the ‘disreputable end of the private rented sector’ because he said there had been ‘eyewatering increases’ in rent.

The minister also rejected claims by Scottish landlords that a rent freeze would stop unoccupied properties from being made available to rent.

Mr Harvie told the newspaper that he did not think that landlords would not re-let a property just because there’s a freeze on rent increases.

Some landlords had abused their power

However, the Scottish minister also highlighted that some landlords had abused their power and these behaviours ‘will not be permitted’.

He also said that increasing rents is an ‘unbearable cost to tenants’ in the PRS.

The minister could not add more detail to the Scottish government’s plans which has led to one leading letting agent saying he thought the plans are ‘unravelling’.

Landlords in Scotland have already criticised the government for introducing a rent freeze without negotiation and now David Alexander of DJ Alexander in Edinburgh says was not impressed that Mr Harvie could not give details on how the rent freeze will affect rent rises or evictions already underway.

Apparently, the details are still being worked out by civil servants.

‘Little or no understanding of how it is to be implemented’

Mr Alexander said: “The minister in charge of the policy seems to have little or no understanding of how it is to be implemented is both shocking and damning.”

He added that the policy appears to have been put together to gain publicity and distract from the appointment of a new Prime Minister – and that the Scottish Government does not understand or even know its own legislation.

Mr Alexander said: “The whole process has been one of short sighted, ill-considered opportunism with little concern for the lives of the tenants and landlords that it affects.”



Comments

DSR

16:57 PM, 12th September 2022, About 3 weeks ago

clearly this 'plan' came about when Queen Krankie had a G&T with a few SNP brown noses who's ultimate ambition is to get the PR machine moving again to head towards independence.

All written down on the back of a fag packet yet instantly applied...

Wonder how many tenants will be fleeing over the boarder to rent now as local LL's leave properties empty as the risk is just too high to let them??

Gromit

17:40 PM, 12th September 2022, About 3 weeks ago

There's no crisis that Government interference can't make into a catastrophe!

Chris @ Possession Friend

20:43 PM, 12th September 2022, About 3 weeks ago

Increasing fuel, Utility and TAXES is an Unbearable cost to the whole society !

When are Govt going to freeze these !!!

NewYorkie View Profile

0:22 AM, 13th September 2022, About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris @ Possession Friend at 12/09/2022 - 20:43
This is nothing to do with Government. It's the SNP and Greens, so is it any wonder they haven't got a clue. At least it's a certainty that it won't work, and yet again, the Scottish people will suffer!

DSR

9:00 AM, 13th September 2022, About 3 weeks ago

wonder how many people looking to rent are now looking over the boarder and going to commute into Scotland, now the supply is now going to nosedive?

Neilanglim

9:19 AM, 13th September 2022, About 3 weeks ago

I actually don’t increase my rents. My philosophy is that if I have a good paying tenant I don’t want to lose them. As a result, most of my portfolio is under market rent.

I really makes me angry when the government interferes in an unfair way. Costs are going up. If freezing rents, why not freeze interests rates for landlords or cut tax for rental property?

My knee jerk reaction to this is as soon as the freeze ends is to increase my rents to market rent and will inform my tenants that they have the Scottish government to thank for this.

Similar thing happened with implementation of section 24 tax changes. Government interfered so i sold all property not in a limited company and informed tenants they can thank the government for losing their home.

peter-sharples@outlook.com

10:32 AM, 13th September 2022, About 3 weeks ago

I am an English landlord. I am thinking of doubling my rent to my tenants. Then give them back a 50% discount. So rent now £1000 rent next month £2000 less 50% discount so tenant pays £1000. The same as now. If a rent freeze comes in rent is £2000 if I want to increase the amount I receive I just reduce the discount. Is this legal?

JB

11:29 AM, 13th September 2022, About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by peter-sharples@outlook.com at 13/09/2022 - 10:32
Is a rent freeze legal?

DSR

13:29 PM, 13th September 2022, About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by peter-sharples@outlook.com at 13/09/2022 - 10:32
great idea. I get where you are coming from completely and it seems like it would be a perfect solution....

But...Not sure tenant would sign up to this as it looks like you are trying to circumnavigate the system (which you are but with no change to them) but it would inevitably you seem like a 'dodgy ' LL.

Imagine what follows if there is any subsequent LL/tenant issues regarding the rent....

DSR

13:33 PM, 13th September 2022, About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by peter-sharples@outlook.com at 13/09/2022 - 10:32
Or if you haven't raised the rent in the last 12 months and you want to (either a general increase or one in advance of a potential freeze scenario) then just do it now.

Explain to the tenant and see what happens. You might find they understand - and from their view a rent rise now, means no more increase for at least another 12 months . They might have security knowing this themselves and be grateful?

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