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Letting agents warn new Scots minister over his rent controls plan

Propertymark says Patrick Harvie's desire to add more regulation and restrictions to the PRS will be damaging.

Nigel Lewis

rent controls scoltland patrick harvie

Propertymark has written to Scotland’s new Minister for Tenants’ Rights Patrick Harvie to warn that his planned introduction of more regulations for the PRS including rent controls could see the sector ‘crumble’.

The trade association, which is usually reticent about openly criticising government ministers, goes on to say that “it is vital that the introduction of any new legislation is based on evidence, as overly burdensome blanket policies are likely to have a negative effect on the sector”.

At a time when demand is far outstripping supply in Scotland, Propertymark is concerned that landlords, many of whom have already been hit hard by the pandemic and already face a mountain of red tape, will either sell up or turn to the short-term letting market, reducing the much-needed supply of rental property even further.

There are also worries in Scotland that Harvie will push for greater regulation of all landlords in order to flush out the small minority who are rogue operators.

mcintosh propertymark“The private rented sector plays a crucial role in the housing system, providing homes to people who cannot, or simply do not want to, own their own home and for whom the social rented sector is not an option,” says Policy Manager Daryl McIntosh (pictured).

“We ask that the Scottish Government show careful consideration before introducing additional regulations to the sector.

“Working in collaboration with our members, stakeholders, politicians and parliamentarians we aim to continue to raise the standards across the entire industry ensuring people can rent affordable, warm and safe homes from reputable landlords.

“We congratulate Patrick on his new appointment as Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights and look forward to working with him on future topical issues to collaborate effectively and provide the best solutions for the Private Rented Sector moving forward.”

Read more: Rent controls have failed across the world.

September 2, 2021

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