A collection of 56 letting agents have poured scorn on new legislation designed to alter Scotland’s private rental sector.
The agents believe that instead of reforming, the legislation will actually make it harder for landlords and letting agents to combat anti-social behaviour in their properties.
Representing the landlords of over 16,000 properties, the agents have signed a statement stating that they are worried about the impact of the proposed Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill. They argue that by removing a landlord’s right to allow a tenancy to come to natural conclusion, the Bill-if enacted-will make it more difficult for them to tackle anti-social behavior.
Some of the agents have said that are aware of landlords that have encountered anti-social behaviour in their property and have been unable to make the tenant improve their conduct. As a result, the landlord allowed a tenancy agreement to come to a natural end, which allowed for the adequate notice period as outlined in the original contract.
However, landlords are concerned that in the future, neighbours who complain of anti-social behaviour would be forced to lodge an official complaint to the police. In addition, they would have to be willing to give public evidence to a tribunal before any action could be taken to remove a tenant.
In their statement, the agents said that this will no only increase the time it takes to combat the issue, many people affected will feel threatened and may not be willing to testify.
Scottish agents opposed to upcoming legislation
The statement reads that, ‘landlords will be powerless to act unless such public complaints are made.’ John Blackwood, chief executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords, said, ‘a key complaint we have heard from our own members, as well as from those in our letting agent wing, is that the measures in the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill will make it harder to tackle anti-social behavior.’
‘The people often most affected by anti-social behaviour are those in vulnerable groups such as older people who could feel threatened by a neighbour. They may be less likely to publicly complain, let alone be willing to take part in what is a formal legal process. These people would in future have to suffer in silence and our landlords would be powerless to help,’ he added.