Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, is set to introduce rent controls.
This news arrives after the Scottish Government’s consultation revealed that seven in ten respondents are against controls.
In this week’s Scottish Parliament’s version of the Queen’s Speech, Sturgeon revealed plans to introduce local rent controls through a Private Tenancies Bill, part of the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) legislation programme for the next eight months.
Scotland to Introduce Rent Controls by Next Spring
These measures have been criticised by the Scottish Property Federation.
Its director, David Melhuish, comments: “The mere prospect of rent controls could be enough to spook potential investors.”1
Thomas Ashdown, of lettings portal Citylets, explains his viewpoint: “If the Scottish Government wants to increase housing supply, then the introduction of rent controls is not the way to do it.
“The latest Citylets quarterly report on the Scottish PRS [private rental sector] shows that for the vast majority of areas, rents are barely keeping up with inflation as it is.
“Increasingly, it would seem that this new legislation would only be relevant to parts of the City of Edinburgh and, as many commentators have noted, possibly exacerbate the lack of supply in those areas.”1
A new group of letting agents and landlords in Scotland also raised concerns and called for two new different types of tenancy agreement.
PRS 4 Scotland hopes for a new flexible short-term tenancy agreement and a longer term contract for tenants wishing to stay in the same property for between five and 15 years, or even longer.
PRS 4 Scotland’s spokesperson, Dr John Boyle, says: “Scotland’s private rented sector should be providing more long-term, stable, high-quality rental options for our growing tenant population, but that aim has been undermined by low levels of house building – a critical lack of supply.
“Yet the current debate around the future of the PRS in Scotland has been focused on calls for rent controls, without sufficient analysis of how these would work in practise to address Scotland’s housing crisis, or recognition of the harm they would do to tenants and landlords in practise.
“The Scottish Government’s own consultation on these issues highlighted that 70% of respondents were against the introduction of a system of rent controls.”1