Fair Rents (Scotland) Bill or Artificial state manipulation of free market rent?10:34 AM, 6th November 2020
About 4 weeks ago 36
The Scottish Government is in the process of consulting on a new Private Rented Sector (PRS) tenancy system, which also canvasses opinion on whether a system of rent controls is necessary, whilst Labour argue that a system of rent controls are necessary to remove excessive rises.
The trade membership body for letting agents in Scotland, Letscotland, has made clear that mid-lease rent rises are an irrelevance to the vast majority of PRS tenants in Scotland and says “Labour’s rent controls policy is a solution looking for a problem.”
Evidence comes from a survey conducted by Lettingstats, which canvassed the opinions of over 7,400 tenants of the PRS. It is believed to be the largest opinion survey of private renting tenants conducted in UK and publishes the following results:
Chairman of Letscotland, Malcolm Warrack said “Scotland’s private rented sector has grown hugely in response to the demands of the market, and these figures make clear that the overwhelming majority of tenants do not share the view that there is a problem with escalating rent levels. The vast majority do not receive a request for a rent rise during their tenancy, and if they do, it seems that most consider that request to be reasonable.
“Housing provision is vital for the success of the economy and for meeting the demands of wider society. We need to get any future reforms right for tenants and right for the market. The Lettingstats survey also found that only 41% of tenants are confident that they could secure another suitable rented property in a reasonable timeframe if they had to leave their current home. That uncertainty is founded on a shortage of rented properties on the market to meet demand.
“With rented properties being snapped up within days of going on the market, we have a supply problem in private rented stock in Scotland. We need to ensure current landlords remain in the sector keep their properties and encourage them to provide more in future to meet rising demand. Frankly, rent controls will only further restrict the supply of properties on the market, and turn a problem into a crisis.”
The questions asked in the survey seemed to be clear and fair:
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