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Rent Freeze politician in war of words with Propertymark chief

Propertymark has become embroiled in a war of words with a Scottish politician who has made a series of anti-agent and anti-landlord comments in recent weeks.

Ross Greer, a Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Green Party, most recently put up a tweet over the holiday season sharing a newspaper article about landlords being forced to sell up and accompanying his post with a "tiny violin" emoji.

Greer’s party - which is in a loose alliance with the Scottish National Party to form a majority in the Scottish Parliament - recently introduced a rent freeze across the private and social rental sectors north of the border. In theory it lasts until the end of April this year but there is scope for it to be extended.


The politician has gone on to claim to the Scottish media that: “Housing is a fundamental human right. Hoarding properties for profit isn't contributing anything useful to society and these landlord scare stories about homes coming off the market simply don't add up. 

“The properties owned by a landlord aren't demolished when that individual leaves the sector, they are sold. You only need to look at the obscene rise in rents across Scotland over the last decade to recognise how important the current temporary rent freeze and the coming system of permanent rent controls both are.” 

Now Propertymark’s Timothy Douglas - head of policy and campaigns - has the Scottish Herald that the comment was disappointing.

Douglas says: “Ultimately, if the housing market loses landlords, then tenants will likely be displaced and could be forced into homelessness. With this in mind, it is disappointing that we continue to see a lack of understanding from decision makers about the importance the private rented sector plays in housing the nation. 

"If governments want to tackle the housing crisis and really support people, then they need to make investment viable for those who have the means to provide homes for others.”

Just before Christmas the Scottish Government raised the additional dwelling supplement element of that country’s Land and Buildings Tax (the equivalent of stamp duty) from 4.0 per cent to 6.0 per cent.

Greer then tweeted: “Raising the ADS will raise £34m for public services I hope it also acts as a disincentive to second/holiday home ownership, which hollows out rural communities and forces young people to move elsewhere.”

There have been attempts by Letting Agent Today and our sister publication Landlord Today to discover whether these statements by Green are official Green Party policy or simply his individual views, but the party has not responded.


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