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Home for sale - but not to landlords

A social landlord is selling a home on the open market but says it should go only to a first time buyer or local resident - and not to a private landlord or holiday home purchaser.

The Hebridean Housing Partnership has stated on the property particulars that the £100,000 house, located on a small Scottish island, would “not be available” to those seeking a holiday or second home, with priority given to first time buyers and local residents.

Dena Macleod, chief executive of HHP, says the move is in recognition of an apparent housing crisis on many islands.


Macleod, quoted in The Scotsman newspaper, says: "We discussed the property with the council and agreed the sale presented an opportunity to offer it to first time buyers and contribute to the work being done locally to stem population decline. If this action can help one local young person in getting a foot on the ladder and to get a house of their own, it is a positive step.”

There is uncertainty as to whether the provision would stand up in court. 



However, a Scottish National Party member of the Scottish Parliament, Alasdair Allan, is quoted as saying: “HHP are to be commended for listening to their concerns and putting restrictions in place for this sale. I hope such restrictions can be more widely utilised in future.

“Over the past few years, young people have increasingly struggled to get onto the island housing market. Property prices have surged but younger islanders don’t have the economic power to keep up. 

“More and more properties are becoming AirBnBs or second homes at the same time we’re trying to tackle depopulation. It’s not a sustainable situation if we want the islands to keep having communities instead of holiday villages.”

Here is the full story from The Scoitsman.

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  • icon
    • S S
    • 02 November 2021 07:43 AM

    At the end of the day, any vendor can decide which offer they choose to accept. Surely no one can force a vendor to accept an offer than is unacceptable to them. Therefore if a vendor decides that they will only sell to a first time buyer or owner occupier that is their prerogative?

  • Trevor Cooper

    That's fine until the first-time local buyer puts it straight back on the market and sells at a higher price to any of the many potential all-comers.


    Exactly! NO ex Council house would be in the possession of a landlord or second home owner if the vendor hadn't gone for the highest offer.

    Locals have house prices in their own hands and are always free to take a lower price from another local.

    Don't blame higher bidders as they can't compel the vendor to sell to them.

  • icon

    I think it's legal to sell to whoever you want, but they will need to include a restrictive covenant to ensure whoever buys it doesn't just sell it after 6 months at a massive profit. A bit like when they sell off council houses.

    Bill Wood

    Restrictive Covenants come in all shapes and sizes. When and if I sell any of my properties with a good sitting tenant, I will insist that the tenant can stay for, say 12 months, at the same rent. If this impacts on the amount I can sell at, then so be it.

  • Neil Moores

    The restrictive covenant needs to be permanent, not for 6 months. If councils really cared then they would condition their residential planning consents, when they are granted, stating that the property can only be used as a main family home and not a second or holiday home and can not be rented out.


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