Scotland Mulls Rental Market Improvement

Experts say Scotland’s private rental sector (PRS) is changing and that laws need to change, too, to accommodate the shifting demographic and increase in interest in Scottish rental …

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Experts say Scotland’s private rental sector (PRS) is changing and that laws need to change, too, to accommodate the shifting demographic and increase in interest in Scottish rental properties. The Scottish government has announced it will work with lettings agents to revamp the country’s PRS regulations in an effort to adjust to growing demand as well as make rental contracts more flexible. Specifically, regulators want to address the strong uptick in the number of families that are renting, as opposed to students and single tenants. It’s hoped that the effort will revitalize the market and make it easier for those who need housing to get it. For more on this continue reading the following article from Property Wire.

The Scottish government has announced plans to modernise the country’s private rented sector (PRS) in a major property market change.

The government is to work in partnership with letting agents on the introduction of new regulations for the industry and lay out plans to attract investment to support the construction sector in building new homes.

‘Scotland enjoys a thriving private rented sector, and I am eager that it continues to grow in a way that meets the needs of every tenant and landlord. Letting agents play an important role in managing private rented properties. We want to ensure that all letting agents meet the standards of those that provide the best service. By working together with letting agents on further regulation of the industry, we will help to ensure private rented accommodation is of a good quality and well managed, benefitting both tenants and landlords,’ said housing minister Margaret Burgess.

‘One of our key challenges is to address the growing demand for private rented housing, from short term flexible rents to longer term tenancies. This strategy commits us to consulting in the near future with all stakeholders to examine the suitability and effectiveness of the current tenancy regime, and we will consider legislative change where required,’ she added.

According to Shelter Scotland the country’s PRS is changing. Over the last 10 years the number of families with children renting privately has doubled. ‘However, the laws and rules were created with students and young professionals in mind, not the 75,400 families with children who now rent privately. With that number set to continue rising over the next 10 years, now is the time to rethink renting in Scotland,’ said director Graeme Brown.

‘Scotland needs a PRS that is affordable, safe, secure and fit for families. A sector that provides long term, high-quality homes for those who need them and lets families put down roots in their community. A sector that rewards professional landlords and letting agents that play by the rules and a sector shaped for 21st century Scotland,’ he explained.

John Blackwood, chief executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords, welcomed the move. ‘It reinforces the existing good practice of by far the majority of landlords and letting agents in Scotland. SAL also welcomes the Scottish government’s aim to see the PRS in Scotland grow and provide a well managed housing sector,’ he said.

Property consultants, CKD Galbraith, said agents have seen a growing demand for rental properties throughout Scotland. ‘It is imperative that there is a level playing field for all landlords and tenants in the sector. What we are also finding is that there are some reluctant landlords operating who have entered the market in the mean time as they have been unable to sell their property and thus have unrealistic expectations on the level of wear and tear to their property, so a fair management service is required,’ said Bob Cherry, partner and head of CKD Galbraith’s lettings division.

‘This is a positive step forwards for the industry to help alleviate the unscrupulous practices being carried out by many. Being accountable to a professional body provides security for your clients, both landlords and tenants, and allows for a fair and open market place,’ he added.

This article was republished with permission from Property Wire.

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