Landlords reject new rent control laws in Scotland

John Blackwood of the Scottish Association of Landlords warns that a new housing bill will force investors out of the sector.

John Blackwood

Landlord leaders in Scotland have rejecgted a new housing bill which includes rent controls, warning it won’t work.

The Housing (Scotland) Bill, which has just been published by the Scottish Government, has some similarities with the Renters (Reform) Bill in England.

As well as proposals for long term rent controls for private tenancies, there is stronger protection against eviction, new rights to keep pets and decorate rented homes.

Patrick Harvie MSP
Patrick Harvie MSP

Tenants’ Rights Minister Patrick Harvie and Housing Minister Paul McLennan will lead the bill’s passage through Parliament.

A fairer, well-regulated rented sector is good for both tenants and landlords.”

And Harvie says: “A fairer, well-regulated rented sector is good for both tenants and landlords.

“Tenants benefit from improved conditions and security, while good responsible landlords will thrive when their good practice is recognised by regulation.”


But John Blackwood, CEO of the Scottish Association of Landlords (main picture), says: “The rent control proposals, as has been seen in places like Ireland which has similar measures, will see reduced investment and more landlords leaving the sector, leading to higher costs for tenants.”

The bill will exacerbate Scotland’s housing crisis, and make it harder for people to have the quality home they deserve, he warns.

David Alexander, CEO, DJ Alexander

And David Alexander, CEO of DJ Alexander, says the rent control measures suggested in the bill, which allow for designation of a specific area, are unworkable.

“Crucially it also ignores the fact that landlords, property investors and corporate institutions have the very real option of relocating elsewhere or of simply walking away from the sector,” he says.

“Given this bill seeks to limit rent increases between tenancies there may be many property investors who feel that enough is enough.”

Existing rent controls in Scotland are due to finish this week, to be replaced by a new arbitration service.

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Scottish leader confirms move to make rent controls permanent in new Bill

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