Letting agents in Scotland face sweeping changes for the private rental sector as the new SNP/Green political coalition prepares a programme of short and long-term changes.
That was the warning from Scotland’s recently-appointed Minister for Tenants’ Rights during a MyDeposits-organised event for letting agents and landlords in Glasgow yesterday, the first time Patrick Harvie has attended a face-to-event industry since he was appointed.
Unlike the English government, which has delayed its reforms until the New Year, Scots minister Patrick Harvie (pictured) says his will be revealed before the festive break.
They will form part of the Scottish government’s ‘Housing to 2040’ document and although they are expected to include several controversial proposals including rent controls, longer notice periods, plans to enable tenants to live with their pets, Winter eviction bans and strong measures to control Airbnb holiday lets, Harvie said he would consult widely before legislation is introduced.
He also said there was plenty of common ground between his aims and those of letting agents and landlords – although Propertymark released a statement in August saying that rent controls would be ‘catastrophic‘.
Harvie became a minister after his Green party signed a power-sharing deal with the SNP this summer with a specific promise to bring in rent controls.
Paul Shamplina (pictured) who led the gathering, says: “It was great to put on a MyDeposits event gathering like this after nearly 20 months of pandemic restrictions.
“We were also fortunate to have leading members of the Scottish property industry attending which, as well as the Minister, included leading landlord and agent Jim Parker of Fife Properties and letting agent Richard Cook.”
Shamplina said those present were concerned that eviction notice periods are sticking at six months until March, when a review is taking place, and that Airbnb operators continue to face much weaker regulation and enforcement compared to their traditional counterparts
“The objective of the MyDeposits meeting was to engage with landlords and agents, and to inform them about the pipeline of PRS changes,” adds Shamplina.