The Scottish Government are moving forward with more rent control proposals.
This includes controlling rents in between tenancies so properties will never be able to revert to the market rate.
The Scottish Government has issued a landlord and tenant consultation questionnaire and left very little time to allow housing providers to react. Responses are required to be submitted by 27th October 2023 and therefore time is of the essence.
We need your help and support to influence, in our sector’s favour, the final version of these proposals.
If you have plans to invest and operate in Scotland, now or in the future, we urge that you fill in the questionnaire, having reviewed the guidance notes. The questionnaire will take about 15/20 minutes to complete; we ask that you stick with it as this is a very important proposed change which is imperative that we collectively respond to.
Please help support our Scottish colleagues by responding to the questionnaire. Each response counts and the more responses from the wider BTR sector the better to help to support the sector in Scotland, and ultimately set the tone for the rest of the UK.
UKAA Scotland Hub is working in Scotland with the Scottish Property Federation, Scottish Association of Landlords and the Scottish Government directly on this matter and will continue to represent our home provider members.
The UKAA met with the Scottish Minister for Housing on 18 October, and he has requested a working group be created, of which the UKAA will be a member. This meeting is one step in an ongoing information campaign to explain to Ministers, MSPs and the Press that their current proposals will only reduce the availability of housing for rent.
You can also write to the MSP representing the constituency you are actively or planning to invest in. A template letter is on the UKAA website, here. You can identify the relevant MSPs for your property area by using this website.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Background – A New Deal for Tenants
These proposals are part of the Scottish Government’s New Deal for Tenants, as set out in their Program for Government on 5th September 2023.
The Scottish Government consulted on draft proposals in 2021. It is their view that some form of permanent rent control should be brought forward, and this will happen the forthcoming Housing Bill now being drafted and planned to be brought before Parliament in the spring of 2024.
The Scottish Government view is that much of the consultation has already taken place; that some form of continuing rent control is now an agreed policy and that they are now seeking views on what type of rent control to introduce.
As part of this process they have issued this questionnaire. This questionnaire is not balanced or well drafted. The choices offered for answering are often limited and you are not able to provide comment or to disagree with the proposals.
The issue of balance has been made in meetings with Government, but we would strongly urge you to reinforce this point by writing to your elected representatives and in particular your MSPs so that there is a record of your views on the process.
The Scottish Association of Landlords have prepared a very good article on the proposals and have helpfully given guidance on how to answer the questions posed in the questionnaire. You can access their article here and the guidance on answering the questions.
In our view, there remains time, between now and the final reading of the Bill when it comes before Parliament, to continue to brief, educate and inform MSPs of all parties, as well as the Press and the public about the potential consequences for housing in Scotland if some of the proposals implicit in the questionnaire are brought forward.
Should you wish to use it, we have drafted a template MSP letter for your convenience which you can download here and use for a submission.
Please share a copy of it with us by Bcc’ing email@example.com in your submission to allow us to keep a tally of communications.