Scottish government launches new moves to root out rogue landlords
Friday 20th April 2012
New moves to clamp down on the private rented sector have been launched by the Scottish Government – and could provide a blueprint for regulation in the rest of the UK.
A consultation has been launched by housing minister Keith Brown aimed at rooting out rogue landlords and improving the system for those who provide a good service to tenants.
The consultation is based on the work of the Private Rented Sector Strategy Group supported by the Scottish Government over the past six months. Proposals include:
• A simpler, more targeted regulatory system for the private rented sector, focusing enforcement action on those landlords who give tenants a poor deal, cause safety and management concerns and tarnish the image of the sector.
• Increased effective partnership working between a range of public services such as housing, social work, education and police to identify and prosecute the small group of exploitative and unprofessional landlords who bring the reputation of the private rented sector into disrepute.
• Help for landlords and communities dealing with tenants who engage in anti-social behaviour.
• Achieving quicker and more effective justice for tenants and landlords in dispute through reform of the courts and consideration of the role of a new housing panel model.
Brown said: “A small group of exploitative and unprofessional landlords bring the reputation of the private rented sector into disrepute and undermine the work done by the many good landlords who provide good-quality homes with high management standards.
“The Scottish Government is committed to enabling effective action to help remove the small minority of rogue landlords from the private rented sector and to ensure that local authorities have the powers that they need to tackle this problem.”
Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “This is a big step in the right direction to create a 21st-century private rented sector based on the foundations of security, fairness and affordability.
“We welcome the proposed introduction of a simpler, more targeted regulatory system and believe that responsible landlords will rise to the challenge of regulation to raise standards.
“The consultation will also give a voice to tens of thousands of tenants who call the PRS home, and help to ensure their consumer rights are protected.
“I am confident that Scotland can lead the way in the UK to develop a rental market with strong foundations – bringing stability for tenants and promoting growth in the sector through responsible letting.”
The consultation will run until July 10.
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