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Legal challenge to rent controls moves a step closer

A coalition of landlords and lettings groups has submitted a Petition to the Court of Session in Edinburgh seeking a Judicial Review of the Scottish Government’s rent control and eviction ban legislation.  

In the petition, the three groups - the Scottish Association of Landlords; Scottish Land and Estates; and Propertymark - say they believe the law is disproportionate and unfair. 

This is further exacerbated by the decision to retain rent control for the private rented sector and remove it for the social rented sector from April. 

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Specifically, the petition highlights:

- The rent control applies irrespective of the financial position of both the tenant and landlord;

- The recent decision by the Scottish Government to remove the cap for social landlords means a well-off individual renting in the private sector is provided financial protection not available to someone in more challenging financial circumstances in the social sector;

- In the decision to remove the rent control in the social sector, the Scottish Government acknowledges the need for maintenance of these properties but has not given the same consideration to landlords in the private sector; 

- The law does not make any distinction or provide relief based on different circumstances of landlords, between larger, institutional companies who might be able to shoulder increased costs, and individual landlords who cannot; and 

- The eviction ban creates a delay in addressing matters such as arrears which adversely impacts landlord cash flow culminating in a reduction in capital value.

The petition further argues that by discriminating in the way it does, the law breaches the European Convention of Human Rights which states “The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in the Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as … association with … property…”

The Scottish Government will now be asked if they wish to provide a response before the petition is considered by the Court.

John Blackwood, chief executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords, says: “So far, the result of the Scottish Government eviction ban and rent freeze has been just as concerning as we predicted. Landlords selling up loss making property is further reducing housing supply, despite ever increasing demand. The result is the cost of finding a new home is actually increasing for renters.

“While the Scottish Government sees fit to raise council and housing association tenants’ rents, so social landlords can do repairs and improvements, they fail to realise that private landlords are faced with similar financial pressures.”

“The Ministerial statement in parliament last week and yesterday’s announcement make it perfectly clear the Scottish Government plans to continue with eviction ban and rent increase restrictions in the private rented sector beyond March 31. Landlords have had enough.

“We must stand united to protect our property rights by challenging this unfair legislation in court.”

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

  • George Dawes

    It's been proven countless times , rent controls don't work

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    Interesting to see how the Stasi Scottish Government balance this one 😂 their hypocrisy is breathtaking.

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    It's not just the rent and eviction ban in Scotland thats unfair, there's also the unfair taxing etc etc etc... Time for me to get out.

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    • A JR
    • 23 January 2023 10:38 AM

    No mention of the NRLA now representing 100.000 landlords? They should absolutely be supporting these landlords.
    This is no time for the weak 'appeasement' policies that have come to so characterise the NRLA.

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    Anthony. They should have a million membership by now hands down, if they were concentrating on their job of representing members which should be their primary objective.
    2 landlord Associations clubbed together and all they have is 100k members it’s ridiculous.
    There is too much self interest going on here, they tell us about the big concession they got from Government to provide Pet Insurance for the Pets we don’t want.
    Another money stream for them, like the Redress they are pushing and the cursed unworkable Deposit Schemes that was imposed upon us based on a pack of lies.

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