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Landlords “devastated” by politicians extending tenants' powers

Plans to extend tenants’ rights that were introduced as an emergency measure during pandemic will have a ‘devastating’ effect on the private rented housing sector, rural landlords warn.

Scottish Land & Estates, which represents rural businesses across Scotland, says tenancy proposals contained within the Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Bill could lead to loss of thousands of homes being lost to the rental market.

The proposed changes in law would have an impact on all types of landlords – whether they own a single property or multiple homes they let out and could lead to a substantial loss in the value of a property where a landlord could not regain vacant possession.


During the Covid-19 pandemic, all grounds for eviction of a tenant were temporarily made discretionary. 

Now this Bill seeks to make this change permanent and a tribunal would be asked to rule on a landlord’s desire to evict a tenant and reclaim vacant possession.

In effect, a tribunal will not have to automatically evict people, even where the tenant fails to comply with the conditions set out in their tenancy agreement, including non-payment of rent.

SLE has raised concerns that these far-reaching proposals are being introduced through the Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Bill rather than through a housing Bill that would be subject to full parliamentary scrutiny.

The organisation claims that these measures appear to go far beyond the public health rationale contained in other elements of the bill - and the issues trying to be solved are far from clearly defined. Added to this, rather than reduce burden on public services and reduce workload for the tribunal, this will make an already lengthy process even longer.


Sarah-Jane Laing, chief executive of Scottish Land & Estates comments: “Rural landlords are gravely concerned that measures to address a public health crisis and our coronavirus recovery are instead being used as a smokescreen to diminish the rights of property owners. This applies to everyone who rents out property, be that a single flat in a city or homes in rural areas.

“Mandatory grounds for reclaiming a property, such as wanting to sell the property or wanting to live in the house yourself, will become discretionary, meaning that a tribunal could agree that your reasons for reclaiming the property are valid but they do not necessarily need to grant an eviction order.

“If any landlord is unable to regain vacant possession there is evidence from property professionals which clearly states that this could crush the value of a property by up to 50%.

“The Scottish Government recently published its Scottish Household Survey 2020 which showed that 94 per cent of households in the private rented sector were very or fairly satisfied. Analysis of the consultation on the Bill also shows that most responders opposed the proposals. 

“Therefore, we’d question what is driving government to pursue such drastic changes when tenants themselves are happy and there has been major opposition to their implementation.

“Given the restrictions that will be placed on landlords by this legislation and others, we are concerned landlords will feel compelled to remove their properties from the sector, either by selling or converting them into holiday lets. 

“We know that a large number of people living in rural areas across Scotland rely on the provision of affordable rental properties and, if these are taken off the market, there will be a dramatic shortage of houses for these workers. This will have a knock-on impact on the rural communities in which these tenants work.

“Whilst this legislation will affect landlords who own several rental properties in both rural and urban settings, it will also have a severe impact on those landlords who own single properties and who seek to use these as a means to fund their retirement. Most of these properties will have been purchased with this goal in mind, but this legislation could retrospectively make this ambition redundant.”

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  • George Dawes

    All part of the long term plan …

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    Sell Sell …… if this even looks like it has legs then get out now or go holiday let. Wow.

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    I have great tenants in my Scottish properties, but one by one, those tenants will move, and when they do I’ll consider selling. The message to landlords, loud and clear from the Scottish government is “we don’t want you, and we will not stop until you’re gone”.

    There’s other places I can invest so not a big deal for me. Renters are going to be in for a rough ride though. There’ll be far less properties, rents will go up as a result, and only renters with the most impeccable credentials will get a look in.

    This is very bad news for the majority of renters. Good news for the corporate landlords though - seems they are the group that SNP is keen to clear the ground for. And there was me thinking SNP is about looking after those at the bottom of the pyramid.


    The SNP is supported by those at the bottom and wants to put everyone down there with its crazy policies.

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    I'm not devastated.. I've started selling off my portfolio... Why would I want to continue trying to make an honest living in a cesspit when there are other less stressful ways to a earn a crust. It's my tenants I feel sorry for but I'm thinking of number 1 and getting out before they think of taking landlords rights away to sell their own properties... Nothing would surprise me anymore!!

    David Saunders

    Nothing to be surprised about Shane, the anti Landlords mentality throughout government or opposition parties is an action replay of happenings in the 1970s that resulted in a property owner needing to be a sandwich short of a picnic to consider letting a house, flat or even a room so private lettings became as rare as rocking horse droppings and homeless figures went into orbit before the penny dropped and property owners were slowly persuaded to let once again.


    One way would be to increase CGT on property sales to render it unaffordable to sell. I can see that in the pipeline...

  • Fery  Lavassani

    Before this disease spreads to the South of the border amongst other crazy legislations already in the pipeline, and since I am due to receive my pension in November, therefore for me, its time to say good bye to residential letting.

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    Fery -I am a few years behind you but I will be doing the same thing, it’s getting silly now :)

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    I'm a very good kind hands on local landlord in Wales. I have to be licensed and jump through various hoops. Partly as a result of being given 'rent holidays' and partly because he is selfish a tenant owes me £10,000. I am currently in the process of having him evicted but this could take another 3 or 4 months and add to my costs. He was given notice iin July 2021.

    He is in arrears of council tax and baliffs keep visiting but get nowhere.

    He has been in receipt of UCredit since November 2021 but failed to tell me and is now angry as i have set up a 3rd party direct payment.

    His case worker tells me I won't get any arrears payment as, as a landlord, I'm low down the list as a creditor.

    As a landlord I feel totally abandoned, helpless and at the mercy of a very difficult tenant and a government that continues to side with tenants.
    I will consider selling the property once and if I get possession.


    Issue a money claim on line, dead easy, no solicitor needed and not expensive, you probably won't get any money but he'll get a CCJ

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    Andrew explain that one to me. For a start I'm told that CCJ is for rent arrears are not registered so will not be traced . I do know is that you need an address and the correct name to find if someone has a CCJ. It is very difficult to trace a CCJ where a tenant moves from one address to another and does not disclose their previous address . In other words if I look up someone's name on the register without the address where the CCJ was obtained and the name is not exactly the same you will not find the CCJ.

    Unfortunately I've come to the conclusion that obtaining CCJ is on tenants has little value


    If someone has any links with banks, like an account or a credit card etc. or any form of insurance, mobile phone contract, HP debt, store card etc. then I believe their credit rating will follow them from address to address and show everything, good or bad, for the last six years.


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