Future of Private Renting in Scotland

This briefing will consider the implementation of the Private Housing Tenancies (Scotland) Act 2016, the role of Private Rented Sector in Scotland’s housing system and how to make the sector work better for all stakeholders.


The Private Rented Sector (PRS) in Scotland has more than doubled in size in the past 15 years. Recent figures show 368,000 homes are rented privately with some 700,000 tenants calling the PRS home.

The Private Housing Tenancies (Scotland) Act, passed in 2016, aims to improve security of tenure for tenants while giving suitable safeguards for landlords, lenders and investors. With the legislation, due to come into force in 2017, widely expected to have a profound impact on PRS,  how can we make the sector work better for all and address Scotland’s housing challenges?

Key learning objectives

  • Up-to-date brief on the latest policy, legal requirements of the legislation and PRS developments
  • Gain insights into good practice raising standards in the Private Rented Sector
  • Examine the issues and ways forward for particular types of renters in the housing system


09:15 Registration and morning refreshments

10:00 Welcome and introduction by the Chair

Dr Louise Reid, Acting Director, Centre for Housing Research, University of St Andrews

Session one: PRS in Scotland

10:05 Private Rented Sector in Scotland - Update and Overview

  • Sets the strategic context for legislative change in the private rented sector
  • Outlines the main legislative changes that will come into force during the next 12 months.
  • Gives timelines for each of those changes
  • Summarises work being done to improve standards in the sector and strengthen landlord registration enforcement

Linda Leslie, Team Leader, Private Rented Sector Policy, Scottish Government

10:20 The new private residential tenancy in Scotland

Alasdair Fleming, Partner, Brodies LLP

10:35 The role of Private Rented Sector in Scotland's housing market

Professor Colin Jones, Heriot-Watt University

10:50 The view from the sector

Dan Cookson, Independent Housing Market Analyst

11:05 Questions and discussion

11:30 Refreshments and networking


Session two: Good practice seminar

11:50 Ensuring quality homes for tenants, and enabling landlords to successfully manage their investments

Alice Simpson, Assistant Director, Homes for Good (Scottish letting agency and Winner of Social Enterprise of the Year at the Social Enterprise Awards Scotland 2016)

12:10 Private Landlord Support Project

  • An exploration of the work undertaken in Dundee and Highland within the first year of the project
  • A look at the aims and objectives of the project and how this fits into the wider context of the ongoing work within the PRS
  • A look at the key successes across both locations and local variations

Laura Fairlie, Private Landlord Support Officer, Shelter Scotland

Bryan Powell, Private Landlord Support Officer, Shelter Scotland

12:30 Questions and discussion

12:50 Lunch and networking


Session three: Better understanding groups of renters in PRS

13:30 Lower income households

Fraser Sutherland, Policy Officer, Citizens Advice Scotland

13:50 Students and younger people

Rob Henthorn, Vice President, NUS Scotland

14:10 PRS in rural Scotland

  • Rural dimension of PRS
  • Differences from urban settings – little build-to-rent; more hidden poverty in PRS &c
  • Contribution to meeting homelessness and wider housing strategy
  • Prospects

Alastair Cameron, Convener, Rural Housing Scotland

14:30 Questions and discussion

14:55 Chair's closing remarks

15:00 Close of Event

*Agenda and speakers subject to change

Venue and costs

Event location: Novotel Edinburgh Centre, 80 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh EH3 9DE

  • Discounted rate: £149 + VAT (Voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m)
  • Reduced rate: £199 + VAT (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, police, professional associations and voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m)
  • Full rate: £299 + VAT (Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP)

For more information please contact Craig Flannigan, by email craig@holyrood.com or phone 0131 285 1691

22 February 2017



Share this page