One of the country’s most outspoken advocates of rent controls has been told why agents and landlords oppose them.
Propertymark has hosted three sessions with members of the Scottish Government to discuss aspects of the Draft Rented Sector Strategy - part of the consultation process on radical proposals.
One attendee has been Scotland’s Minister for Tenants’ Rights, Patrick Harvie - the architect of Scotland plans to introduce rent controls in the next four years, and a supporter of reform to the possession process.
Propertymark agents told Harvie that rent controls and other reforms proposed in the draft strategy could have the unintended consequence of forcing landlords out of the sector, adding to the shortage of properties.
Daryl McIntosh, Propertymark policy manager for the devolved nations, says: “We were delighted to provide our members with a platform to speak directly to the minister on this important issue and for him to hear how they believe affordability in the PRS can be addressed.
“By attending our roundtable, Mr Harvie and the rest of the Government recognise the vital role Propertymark agents and the landlords they represent have in providing homes for the people of Scotland. They must now give their professional views serious consideration as this strategy continues to develop.”
Propertymark insists the Scottish Government needs to consider key issues before forming policy, having a fair balance for landlords too, which includes:
- If greater flexibility on personalisation is introduced, are present mechanisms to cover the costs of remediation adequate?
- Are permanent pre-action requirements likely to be appropriate as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic?
- What will the likely impact be on the PRS of the removal of mandatory grounds for possession?
- What are the practical implications of a requirement to serve a homelessness prevention referral, and at what stage in the possessions process could this be done?
Meanwhile Harvie himself says: We’re working to deliver A New Deal for Tenants centred on more affordable rents and greater rights for all tenants.
“We’ve committed to introducing rent controls in the current Parliamentary session, and while there are range of views on how best to do this, there is widespread consensus on the importance of ensuring we have the evidence and data to develop a robust system that meets the needs of Scotland.
“The New Deal for Tenants consultation is open until 15 April and I would encourage anyone with an interest to respond.”