A call by Shelter for England to adopt Scotland’s model of indefinite tenancies in the private rented sector has been attacked by a lettings trade group.
David Smith, policy director for the Residential Landlords Association, says the campaigning charity has failed to recognise key differences between England and Scotland.
“The only reason the Scottish model has worked is because a properly funded and staffed housing court was established to cope with the dramatic increase in repossession cases needing to be heard” says Smith.
“Across England and Wales it takes an average of over five months for landlords to repossess properties through the courts. This is not good enough. We call on Shelter to back the RLA’s plans for a dedicated housing court that can process repossession claims in legitimate circumstances without frustrating landlords. Simply tinkering with the existing courts will not work” he continues.
A key claim by Smith is that in arguing that changes in Scotland have not affected the supply of homes for rent, Shelter has used figures from before the changes were introduced.
“As the latest data from the Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors notes clearly, whilst the demand for new homes to rent has increased considerably in Scotland, new landlord instructions have fallen, providing less choice for tenants” insists Smith.