Subscribe to Holyrood updates

Newsletter sign-up


Follow us

Scotland’s fortnightly political & current affairs magazine


Subscribe to Holyrood
by Kate Shannon
30 March 2015
System for Scottish tenants and landlords to be ‘simplified and improved’

System for Scottish tenants and landlords to be ‘simplified and improved’

Plans to reform private sector tenancy laws will remove the fear of eviction and help tenants to assert their rights, according to Housing Minister Margaret Burgess.

Consultation launched by the Scottish Government will seek views on a major overhaul of legislation in the private rented sector.

The current "no-fault" repossession clause which allows landlords to reclaim their property simply because a fixed rental term has ended, will be scrapped.

Our vision is for a private rented sector that provides good quality homes and high management standards

Burgess said: “These changes to existing tenancy laws are designed to improve security for tenants and provide safeguards for landlords, investors and lenders.

“Our vision is for a private rented sector that provides good quality homes and high management standards, inspires consumer confidence, and encourages growth through attracting increased investment.

“By creating a new and simplified system we will have better property management, while tenants and landlords will be provided with more clarity and a better understanding of what the tenancy agreement means for them.”

Landlords will also have eleven modernised legal grounds to use if they wish to regain possession of their property, including if they wish to sell.

To protect people against rent hikes, tenants will be able to take unjustified rent rises to arbitration.

Specific measures may also be introduced to combat excessive increases in hot-spot areas such as Aberdeen and the Lothians.

This builds on an initial consultation last year, which received over 2,500 responses.

Final proposals will be included in a Bill to be laid before parliament this autumn.

Burgess added: “Tenants will have more security and can no longer be asked to leave their home simply because their tenancy agreement has reached its end date.

“They can assert their rights without fear of eviction.

“Increasing the supply of homes is the sustainable, long-term solution to addressing housing affordability.

“That is why we are investing over £1.7 billion to deliver our target of 30,000 affordable homes during the lifetime of this parliament.”

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said the charity wants to see a private rented sector in Scotland that is fit for families and protects all tenants and which provides long-term homes, not short-term housing.

It’s time to make renting right

He added: “We welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to increase security of tenure for private tenants.

“The short-term tenancy agreements currently commonplace in the private rented sector do not provide the stability and security that the more than 80,000 families with children living in the private rented sector need in order to live a settled life.

 “It’s time to make renting right. We need a private rented sector that is modern, stable, flexible, predictable and fair for those individuals and families that call it home.

“The benefits of reform would not just be felt by tenants, however.  Landlords too would see a more constant and predictable income with less downtime between rents and a more stable relationship with their tenants.”

Holyrood Newsletters

Holyrood provides comprehensive coverage of Scottish politics, offering award-winning reporting and analysis: Subscribe

Read the most recent article written by Kate Shannon - The sex strike shows that even feminists can fall foul of outdated stereotypes.

Get award-winning journalism delivered straight to your inbox

Get award-winning journalism delivered straight to your inbox


Popular reads
Back to top