A claim by the activists running the Generation Rent group has been branded as “misleading” by Propertymark.
Generation Rent claims its research in Scotland - based on a small sample of just 125 evictions in three years - shows that nearly a third of private landlords who evicted in order to sell the property had failed to sell the home more than a year later.
It goes on to claim that a further nine percent of cases of tenants evicted on grounds of sale saw the home sold to another landlord who re-let the property.
But Daryl McIntosh, Propertymark’s policy manager for the UK Devolved Nations, has criticised the claims.
He says: “Generation Rent is using a misleading analysis of a very small sample of tribunal cases to feed their narrative of a possession system that's being abused.
"It is pure speculation to suggest any properties within this analysis that are either yet to be sold or still on the landlord register have been re-let.
“As Generation Rent acknowledges itself the register is unlikely to be up to date because there’s no legal requirement for a landlord to do so once a property has been sold. Property sales can also be delayed for legitimate reasons including a protracted possession, creating further discrepancies.
"To pre-empt the intentions of a prospective purchaser is unreasonable, so a landlord cannot be expected to pursue a sale without first ensuring vacant possession.
"Propertymark believes the Scottish Government's proposals to reform the private rented sector are already heavily weighted in favour of tenants' rights and we will continue to urge ministers to ensure their policies are evidence-based and balanced."
This is not the first time that Generation Rent has been taken to task over its claims.
In September 2020, for example, it suggested that 55,000 households had been served an eviction notice during one of the eviction ban periods.
It repeated the claim on Twitter only for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government - as it was then called - to launch an attack on the claim.
MHCLG responded to the incorrect data, saying: “These figures are unreliable and misleading – @GenRentUK have looked at the responses of 13 individuals to conclude 55,000 households have been served an eviction notice. The official statistics show only 3,022 private and social sector landlords applied to the courts for possession of their property between April and June, down 89 per cent on the same time last year.”