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More evidence that rent controls hurt landlords and tenants

Research from Propertymark highlights a growing concern for the private rental sector in Scotland.

As the Scottish National Party lurches from crisis to crisis, its policy of rent controls and an eviction ban - devised in a loose alliance with the Scottish Green Party - problems in the private rental sector grow.

While landlords are unable to evict tenants in many circumstances as the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act is extended, those with tenancies that are naturally coming to an end are now more likely to take the chance to sell. 

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In new research, 94 per cent of letting agents have reported an increase in investors choosing to get rid of their properties, rather than provide a home for a new tenant.

In December 2022, Propertymark released its first report on the issue, where 69 per cent of agents saw an increase in the number of landlords serving notice to sell because of the temporary measures. However, in its most recent report released this spring, the figure has risen dramatically to 83 per cent.

Those that aren’t selling are ensuring their future financial position is secure by raising rents in between tenancies, and when asked, 94 per cent of agents said that their landlords are now more inclined to do so as a result of the measures. This is compared to 91 per cent in December 2022.

The body says that rather than solve supply issues in the private rented sector, the emergency legislation appears to be alienating landlords, this is discouraging investment in the sector which, in turn, is inhibiting supply and causing rents to rise faster than they otherwise might have.

Of all the notices served to tenants, an average, 67 per cent do not meet the exemption criteria and are awaiting processing from October 2023. This is up from 44 per cent in the last report.

Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaigns at Propertymark, comments: “Rent control is causing problems for the sector in Scotland and we know from our member agents that as a direct result of the Cost of Living legislation rents and costs are now being more heavily scrutinised by landlords with many putting up rents between tenancies to protect against any future cost implications.

“The crux of the housing problem is that demand is far outstripping supply, but this legislation is counterproductive for tenants, pushing landlords out of the sector and leaving little choice for those looking for a rented home.”

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    Had two properties in Scotland gave notice on one last august before stupid rules changed and have since sold this one, the second tenant moved out to England end March and this one will now be sold . Two less on the market for letting out.
    SNP, Patrick Harvie and his band have a lot to answer for . Their housing policies are now taking money out of renters pockets …!

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    I'm in Scotland too and have one under offer and waiting for tenants to leave another. I will be selling up.. Madness to stay in this cesspit any longer than I need to.

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    I have 2 in Scotland. One will be sold when the tenant moves on (currently paying MV so content to leave it as it is). My other property, the tenant moved on due to work. They were paying £600 and the next ones will be paying £850 which is the current market value. My letting agent has confirmed - this increase is 100% down to shortage of stock due to landlords selling up.

    This is the direct result and legacy of the Scottish government who are so incompetent that when they try to help a group of people, they achieve the absolute opposite.

    Make things easier for landlords, more landlords will enter the market, there will be more properties and naturally prices will drop and standards will rise if they have to compete for tenants.

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    When will the politicians learn that targeting landlords who have filled in the gap of the shrinking social housing market is only going to be like shooting yourself in the foot?

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    Darren- the politicians have no f idea. They just churn out ideas laws which makes things far worse. It’s bad enough in England . I so hope these rules don’t pass south of Adrian’s wall. Might be SNP loose control of Scotland cos of this and other idiotic laws.

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