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Scottish parliament consults on introducing rent controls

The Scottish government is consulting on introducing rent controls north of the border with a view to protecting private sector tenants from increasing rents.

A proposal for a Bill to protect private sector tenants by introducing measures to limit rent hikes and to increase the availability of information about rent levels has been introduced by Scottish Labour.

Proposed by Pauline McNeill MSP, the party said its Mary Barbour Bill will see the introduction of a new points-based system to enforce fair rents.


The main proposal is to cap rent at 1% above inflation, with provisions to allow ministers to adjust this index if interest rates were to suddenly increase.

Respondents are also being asked to consider whether the rent officer should be restricted to only decreasing or maintaining existing rent when tenants lodge an appeal as opposed to the existing practice of being able to increase rents.

The consultation also proposes that the rent being charged should be a mandatory disclosure to the landlord registration scheme and any changes should be updated.

Speaking at Scottish First Minister's Questions last week, Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “We have seen the return of private landlordism and rents have soared whilst wages have stagnated. “According to the Scottish Government’s own figures, over forty per cent of all children, living in the private rented sector are now living in poverty. That is 60,000 children.”

He added: “We think that private rent rises should be capped and controlled. So Nicola Sturgeon has a choice, will she take the side of rogue landlords and a broken housing market – or she can back Labour’s plans, and back our Mary Barbour Bill.”

The consultation will run until 6 August 2019.

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Poll: Do you think private rent rises will eventually be capped and controlled in Scotland


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    I wonder where all those children would live if there were no private Landlords. Social housing needs to be ramped up and flogging the Landlord slowed, he's tired out.

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    What a surprise? The SNP screw landlords by taking away their right to determine when a tenancy ends, landlords sell up, tenants can't find enough properties, rents go up due to market forces and greater risks borne by landlords - so what next? Rent controls make remaining landlords either sell up or move to short term holiday rentals. Thousands now clamour for the Council to home them. Huge shortage of temporary accommodation pushes up short term rental rates and former long term landlords offer their short term rentals to house the homeless, but at several times what they were getting for the same properties which used to be available for long term rentals. SNP should be careful what they wish for!

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    • 11 June 2019 17:34 PM

    @robert brown
    Stop being so logically correct you'll confuse the darling little politicians!!!!
    All they really are interested in is independence.
    Ideology is far more important to them than dealing with the practicalities that you have so succinctly pointed out.
    They are like a load of ostriches all with their heads in the sand!!!
    God help the poor old tenants..
    Great supplies of brown envelopes will be required to pay the proper market over the controlled rent.
    Many Scottish LL will be removing their properties from LA management.
    After all you can hardly have the LA going round collecting brown envelopes!!!
    So Scottish LA will be going bust.
    All the idiot SNP need do is consider the Stockholm experience!!!
    That should tell them everything they need to know!!


    Nail on head cash is king !


    Explain the Stockholm experience Paul please ignore my ignorance

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    • 11 June 2019 20:23 PM

    In Stockholm rent controls and social housing restrictions were imposed.
    Trying to obtain a rent controlled property is impossible.
    But what happens is such properties result in massive cash payments being made to secure a scarce city centre property.
    Happens still a bit in NYork.
    In short where there is scarcity of supply a black economy will develop if market prices are restricted.
    I don't believe the SNP idiots gave worked out yet that by keeping official rent controlled this will result in the LHA rates further reducing.
    This will mean even fewer LL taking on HB tenants!!
    Mortgage credit will be reduced based on the alleged controlled rent
    Property prices reduce and not just rental property.
    Includes residential as well.
    Then there will be a reduced tax take by the Treasury as LL could hardly declare rents in excess of a controlled rent!!
    Lenders would only be able to offer finance on the basis of controlled rent levels rather than the rent that is actually received, most of it in cash!!
    With reduced property values the book values of mortgages reduce.
    Many portfolio LL night be required to introduce cash to their mortgages to reduce LTV to that required when the mortgages were first taken out.
    So that might put them out of business.
    If I was a Scottish AST LL I would be changing from AST lettings to other sorts of lettings that wouldn't be controlled by any rent controls.
    It seems lots of them are indeed doing this already!



    You talk a lot of sense but you forget that the source of the rental surge in Scotland is due to the SNP having abolished AST, so the landlord has NO say in when the tenancy ends, only the tenant can decide (unless they breach the terms of the Scottish Government drafted private rental tenancy (PRT) agreement. That is why many landlords have sold up or moved to holiday rentals. Incidentally the normal holiday rental market has also been screwed up by this legislation as many student flats in Edinburgh, St Andrews, Aberdeen etc. were used as holiday rentals over the summer, but these can't be advertised until the landlord is certain that the current tenants are leaving, and they only need to give 28 days notice. Another feature is landlords are now insisting next academic session's tenants sign up from 1st June, so depriving tourist areas of much needed short term rental accommodation and forcing students to pay over the summer for properties they don't want to occupy. Indeed the only way the SNP could screw things up worse would be by persuading 50.0001% of the Scottish electorate to vote for independence and they only need around 200,000 voters from September 2014 to switch in order to do so. Perhaps the English Brexiteers will nudge them over the line? What a coup that would be, not sending £350m a week to the EU AND saving the £14 billion or so subsidy sent to Scotland as it doesn't have enough Income Tax Payers paying a marginal rate of up to 61% ( and many believe UK Income Tax doesn't go above 45% !). Perhaps Nigel and Nicola have more in common than they imagine? A marriage made in Heaven, probably with Corbyn as the Church Minister!

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    • 12 June 2019 03:15 AM

    I knew a bit about the PRT but not really the full effects of it.
    I dread the PRT coming to England.
    I'm sure the Scottish experience is being carefully observed by Westminster.
    It would NOT surprise me at all if something very similar to the Scottish PRT is eventually introduced to England..........................at about the same time as S21 is abolished.
    I personally do not pay the slightest attention to what goes on in Scotland....................... different place, culture etc.
    But as a testbed for bonkers policies it is a very useful one for Westminster to tailor it's policies.
    Now the oil had gone Scotland is just a burden on the English just like NI.
    I say let there be a National Referendum to get rid of Scotland as part of the UK.
    I would vote to get rid of them.
    Scotland is of no net benefit to the UK.
    Should be relatively easy to build a wall to prevent the Scots getting into England.
    I would even forgive Scotland their share of the National Debt which is about £3 trillion out of about £7 trillion.
    Maybe even let them keep the pound.
    NI should be allowed to unite with the Republic.
    I care little for bog Irish Protestant bigots who are currently propping up the dysfunctional Tory Govt.
    A UI would be best for all.
    The Protestant minority could easily be guaranteed their rights in the Doyle.
    I doubt Republicans would give a monkey's if the Prots wanted to march through non-Protestant areas.
    Why would they care if there was a UI!?
    Again if there was a UK vote to get rid of NI to facilitate a UI I would vote to get rid of the bog Irish.
    We don't want them or need them and they are a burden to the English of about £10 billion per year.
    Let the Irish Govt pay to support the whole of an UI.
    I reckon Wales and England are perfectly capable of co-existing.
    The Welsh have proven themselves very savvy.
    They do not wish to come out of the UK.
    But as English LL I fear we have much to fear from the Scottish experience.
    Just imposing a modicum of that along with the lunatic Labour property proposals would kill the AST PRS stone dead.
    I believe that increasingly a lot of English LL are exiting the AST lettings market and using other strategies that you have highlighted.
    Bad news for AST tenants.
    I am sure this will hasten rent control in the UK and then we will be back to the PRS of the 60 and 70's!!!

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    The reason for getting rid of s21 is nothing to do with LL’s getting rid of Tenants willy nilly. The truth is Local Authorities wants it to avoid rehousing people, if LL can’t evict them he is stuck with them indefinitely at huge cost to private LL’s. Tenants won’t be able to approach LA for housing because they won’t have a Court Order which is a requirement to prove homelessness, is that not simple enough to understand.

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    • 12 June 2019 07:14 AM

    Oh! Yes S21 abolishment is the State effectively nationalising the capital of private LL at zero cost to the State.
    The State knows it can do this with impunity as it knows such a policy will not be electorally damaging at all.
    LL have little defensive strategies available to them.
    Stopping letting on AST''s and using other letting strategies is about the only way of defeating the State short of selling up or massively deleveraging.

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    I am in no doubt that if Corbyn gets in at the next election, rent controls will be introduced.
    Comrade Drakeford here in Wales will follow suit and we will all be stuffed.
    The socialists want to control every aspect of our lives, including the ability to make money, which is anathema to them.
    We are just going to have to 'think outside of the box' and I know that this is easier said than done.


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