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Eco-activists slam landlords selling up because of rent controls

Green Party activists responsible for rent controls on Scotland have now slammed landlords who claim the number of rented homes is falling.

A survey by the Scottish Association of Landlords claims that 22,000 privately rented properties might have been lost to the sector over the 12 months. 

The survey also found the biggest reasons for the drop are hostility towards landlords from the Scottish Government along with concerns over proposals and increasing regulation in the sector.


The survey of SAL members was conducted in December to find out about the size of their rental property portfolios and how this has changed or will change over time.

Respondents had already withdrawn an average of 6.4 per cent of their properties from the sector: extrapolating across the whole private rented sector in Scotland this suggests around 21,760 or 6.4 per cent of 340,000 homes could have been lost from the sector in the last year.

SAL believes the drop in the number of properties available is the single biggest factor contributing to rising rent levels in the private rental sector and is a major factor in Scotland’s ongoing housing crisis.

Some 56 per cent of respondents are now planning to reduce their portfolio size while only nine per cent are now planning to increase their portfolio size.

However, Green Party activists claim this is at odds with the official landlord register, which shows the number of registered rented properties in Scotland has actually risen by 1.7 per cent in recent years.

Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer says: “It’s a sign of real desperation in the landlord lobby that they are reduced to claims that are at odds with the evidence. 

“Far from falling in number over the last 18 months as claimed, the number of rented properties has actually risen. It may well be that some landlords have taken properties out of renting but that has always been the case. Some come, some go. We need to look at the full picture.

“Over the last two decades, the response from landlord groups has been as predictable as it has been wrong. Each new regulation is greeted with claims that landlords will walk away, but the number of rented homes has grown from 120,000 pre-devolution to over 340,000 today.

“Across Europe, sensible balanced regulations work alongside healthy markets: better for tenants and better for responsible landlords. It would be so much better if landlords in Scotland got this too.”

The landlords association says the register reflects a long term number of rental properties - and hasn’t yet caught up with a high spate of sell-offs. 

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  • Steven Williams

    If the Green Party are so concerned. Maybe they should buy/maintain them then.

    Can’t tell people what to do with their own assets, apparently.

    Robert Black

    And long may that continue!

  • icon

    😂😂 I am feeling under the weather this morning 🤮 this has made me smile. Utter muppets.


    Hope you feel much better soon, Simon!

  • Ian Deaugustine

    But why are they so obsessed with this matter? Why don't they lobby for the public sector to build more affordable and eco-friendly 8as they like) for those in need? Why don't they stop bugging us?


    We’re rich 💰💰 don’t you know 🫣🫣, easy targets, unlike the councils with huge public sector funding.

    Robert Black

    Another good idea which won't happen!

  • Peter  Roberts

    They must have seen this coming
    if you squeeze an orange for long enough there becomes no more juice left.
    Government and Councils have squeezed the PRS LLs and continue to find new ways so the LLs have had enough and will continue selling up.

  • Karen  Flynn

    I sold my Scottish house last year and did this survey. Had enough!
    Pursued the tenant for arrears and damage
    Granted Court Order, traced them through a PI.
    Served papers by Sherrif’s Officer which they ignored.
    Served EA at her place of work. Employer currently ignoring this also. A Spar supermarket owner ( independent) Spar say nothing to do with them!
    Any advice gratefully received.
    What is the bloody point in being a landlord. Every step costs ME money.
    Selling up in England asap.


    Agree, a disgrace, you’re better off out. I am slowly heading the same direction.


    Sue the employer who is now breaking the law by ignoring the EA.


    Can you get an attachment to earnings to pay directly into the court? Or, is an EA the same thing in Scotland?


    Can you get an attachment to earnings to pay directly into the court? Or, is an EA the same thing in Scotland?

  • icon

    What about all the landlords who under the eviction ban cannot sell??? They are not in the numbers.


    I'm one of those landlords Nick. I'm on my 3rd application in over a year to evict tenants from a house which I want to sell. I've gone from i2 rental properties to 7 and will continue this trend. They are in denial... They know landlords are leaving in droves but can't accept the truth.


    The good news nick is the ban comes to an end on the 1st of April.

    It may only be a small window of opportunity to get out, so would advise anyone considering this to take the opportunity.

    More rules and legislation are only about 1 year away

  • John Ahmed

    Councils and politicians are all screwing the PRS.
    These activists and the green party are just stupid. Same is happening in England landlords continue to sell putting pressure on the homless and councils.

    • B L
    • 06 March 2024 12:44 PM

    They are screwing the economy, let alone the PRS.

    Robert Black

    What did they expect Landlords are businesses and need to make a profit unlike councils

  • icon

    If the Green party didn't want LL to sell up they should stop hounding them and bogging them down with legislation. The register they refer to has a lag period. Soon they will see the newly sold houses appear on it. They are just too dim to know how the register works.

    Richard LeFrak

    Well said Wendy, there is at least a six month lag if not longer on any government register as all the WFH fkrs are busy watching their toenails grow.

    One thing the Green Party do not realise is that the landlord register will go up as people have a little go at it, the guys on here who own portfolio's are selling a few more than one property. Once it catches up the SAL will probably be right.


    The desperation of tenants looking to rent in Scotland proves the Greens are lying.

    Why was I offered a 33% rent rise by new tenants if there isn't a shortage of places to rent in Glasgow?


    The Greens and their SNP lackies are too dim to know how ANYTHING works.

    In fact the word "work" isn't in their vocabulary at all!

  • icon

    What is the King Canute syndrome?
    In modern journalistic parlance, Cnut is a byword for a delusional attempt to avert the inevitable, the most recent example being the coining of the term 'Canute syndrome'. Somehow seems appropriate

  • icon

    Simon.I envy your sense of humour.

  • icon

    Green = Naive


    Also green around the gills and a colour associated with being sick.



  • icon

    Absolutely Wendy.

  • Sarah Fox-Moore

    The Scottish Devolution was in 1998 which is TWENTY SIX years ago, so obviously the PRS grew over a QUARTER of a Century. Taking the bench mark back that far is another example of manipulating stats to suit the narative.
    What about the number of PRS properties just prior to the Governments Socialist policies of rent controls etc as compared with today?
    I bet that reflects exactly what the landlord groups are saying.


    Sarah, as the saying goes, “There are lies, damned lies and then there are statistics”.

  • icon

    We halved our number of rental properties recently. And the other half are not gonna last the decade. All because of constant attacks legislation and taxes. Let someone else deal with it.

  • icon

    Of course its our fault - we're LLs - we're responsible for everything bad that happens!

  • Franklin I

    It's crucial to understand the real challenges landlords face, beyond mere assertions.

    The issue extends far beyond rent controls; it's about the burdensome regulations and financial constraints they grapple with daily.
    Mortgage lenders wield immense power, able to abruptly hike rates or withdraw products, leaving landlords in precarious positions, these lenders are unregulated, whilst the prs landlords are over regulated.
    Additionally, trying to maintain affordability for tenants within LHA rates becomes untenable when lenders penalise landlords for lower rents. Moreover, the bureaucratic hurdles of UC and possession orders compound these challenges. Furthermore, it's evident that these eco activists are misguided in targeting landlords for exiting the market. Instead of vilifying them, attention should be directed towards the government's failure to provide adequate support and address the systemic issues plaguing the rental sector.

    Attacking landlords only serves to exacerbate the problem, rather than addressing its root causes. It's time for a more constructive approach that acknowledges the challenges faced by landlords and works towards solutions that benefit both landlords and tenants alike.

  • John  Adams

    Ah the Green Party, the fog knitting brigade that completely ruined Brighton & Hove with their policies so much so the centre of lefties and students voted them out for Labour.


    Isn’t that frying pan into fire territory?😂


    George Galloway would probably describe them as two adjoining cheeks on an overproductive rear end!

  • icon

    The Landlord Register is his evidence FFS

    The very last thing a landlord and local authority looks at is the register, who sells a house then updates the register? Very few people.

  • icon

    “The Green Ostrich” .. still burying his head in the sand!

    • B L
    • 06 March 2024 12:54 PM

    Is there a difference in or out the sand! Their meat has more value than their brain.

  • icon

    I'm getting out. Sorry to my wonderful tenants some who've been with me 10 years + but I just can't make the figures work anymore. I can get 5.5% in the bank for doing nothing.


    Or physical gold at 9.5% per annum compounded since the year 2000.

    Franklin I

    Peter Charles, we're all getting out!

    It's crucial to note that many local Borough Councils are facing bankruptcy, while LHA rates struggle to keep up. With the Renter's Reform Bill approaching, the dwindling number of landlords could render it ineffective.

    Immediate action is imperative to tackle these housing challenges; however, the government's recognition of the current situation may lag a decade behind our current understanding.

  • icon

    And you won’t have to pay a £30k fixed Penalty for providing much needed housing, classed as a rogue, a criminal and attacked by every lame duck Organisation in the Country.

  • icon

    What did they think would happen?

    Luckily I don't own any houses in Scotland but I'm already wanting to get rid of 2 of mine for different reasons.

    Although I keep looking at the rental market, I have no intention of buying any more houses in the current hostile environment for landlords.

    So, I did some quick calculations tonight for the money I have sat in my HSBC Current account and the HSBC savings accounts that I hold.

    I can now lock away the money that I have sat in the bank and make £20k on it by doing nothing, no repairs, no phone calls in the middle of the night.

    Guess where this house fund is going tomorrow.... I think I may even throw in a bit more and just keep it sat in the bank.


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