Private Tenancies Bill passed by Scottish Parliament

Written by Jenni Davidson on 18 March 2016 in News

The Scottish Parliament has passe the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill, giving tenants more protection from eviction

A new law aimed at modernising the private rented sector and ensuring more secure tenancies has been passed by the Scottish Parliament.

The Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill is intended to create simpler tenancies, more stability for people who rent their home, and more predictable rent increases.

One of the key measures in the bill is that tenants cannot now be asked to leave their home simply because the tenancy agreement has reached its end date. Landlords will now need a reason to evict tenants.


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It also introduces the possibility for local authorities to implement rent caps in areas where there are excessive rent increases.

Housing Minister Margaret Burgess also confirmed the Scottish Government’s intention that no fees will be charged for anyone taking a case to the Housing and Property Tribunal.

Burgess said: “We are committed to achieving a sustainable, long-term solution to addressing housing need and affordability.

“Both landlords and tenants have told us this new law will mean a modern and fit-for-purpose sector. Its range of measures will ensure the sector is better managed, simplified and successful for all in the private rented sector.

“I am delighted that this bill has now passed with cross party support.”

The news was welcomed by both housing and homelessness charities as well as representatives of the private rented sector.

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “This bill represents the biggest move forward in private tenancy law in the last quarter of a century and we welcome many of the changes it contains.

“It will significantly rebalance the relationship between tenants and landlords to modernise and strengthen the rights of the growing number of private rented sector tenants in Scotland.

John Blackwood, chief executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords, said: “Landlords and letting agents can now look forward to continuing to promote the importance of the private rented sector in providing high quality housing across the country.”

The Scottish Greens, while supporting the legislation, have called for it to go further.

Co-convener Patrick Harvie said: "The Scottish Greens believe we can, and must go further to make the private rented sector a safe and affordable place for people to live.

“We want to see a proper system of nationwide rent controls implemented during the next parliament, and regulation that make it possible for tenants to stay in the properties they rent for as long as they need to - even when the property is sold.”

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