Heavy regulation of the Scottish rental market in recent years has been a good thing for all concerned, says housing charity Crisis Scotland.
After a clamp down on landlords and agents over the past ten years which has included four pieces of legislation, Crisis Scotland claims that all the potential downsides claimed by agents and landlords have failed to materialise.
This has included increased responsibilities for and regulation of landlords and agents including an end to ‘no fault’ tenancy terminations, a Repairing Standard to enforce minimum property quality, strict HMO legislation, landlord registration and a ban on letting fees.
Neil Guy (pictured), policy and practice manager at the charity, says the legislation has not restricted the growth of Scotland’s privatge rented sector (PRS) over the past ten years and that it has expanded faster than England’s, according to Scottish government housing data.
Agents generally agree that the market is robust; for example Fiona Hindshaw of Clyde Property last month said that the “the general consensus across the board in Scotland is that the lettings market [during the final quarter of 2016] demonstrated continued strength and growth when compared to the same period in 2015 and we expect to see this growth continue in 2017”.
Neil Guy also claims in a blog written this week that a ban on letting fees has not led to an increase in rents since the ban was introduced in 2012. He also says that tenancies are more secure now north of the border, highlighting a reduction in the number of homelessness applications per 1,000 PRS tenants.
“There are still issues with compliance in some areas, however, the PRS as a route out of homelessness is a more secure and suitable option than ever before,” says Neil.