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Estate owners upset over bid to limit 'tied cottage' vacant possession

A land-owners’ group is upset at the Scottish Government’s alleged “disregard” for estate- and land-owners to be able to gain vacant possession of a ‘tied’ property in order to accommodate a new employee.

The group, Scottish Land & Estates, says the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill now going through the Holyrood parliament makes this more difficult.

“The absence of a ground to allow a landlord to take property back in hand to provide a home for a new employee was raised by Highland MSP [Member of the Scottish Parliament] Dave Stewart and North East MSP Alex Johnstone. This ground is fundamental to rural businesses and the impact will be that the business cannot expand, or homes will be taken out of the rental market and either left empty or used as holiday housing in order to create a flexible housing option” says a spokeswoman for the group.

“This is not what the sector needs and it was disappointing to hear Housing Minister, Margaret Burgess, reply that she was not convinced this ground was necessary” says the spokeswoman. 

Supporters of the Bill say it aims to provide greater security of tenure to tenants while providing safeguard to landlords, but Scottish Land & Estates says the proposed tenancy rules are at odds with the Scottish Government’s sustainable development objective for parts of rural Scotland.

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