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More security for tenants

Housing Minister launches new consultation 

Plans to give tenants more security of tenure will be discussed in a new consultation launched by the Housing Minister Margaret Burgess today.

The New Tenancy for the Private Sector consultation aims to give tenants a greater sense of security, and provides appropriate safeguards for landlords, lenders and investors.

Through the proposals landlords must offer a minimum tenancy of six months and the Notice to Quit will be linked to how long the tenant has lived in the property.

It is part of the Scottish Government’s commitment to reform the private rented sector tenancy by enabling more effective regulation, applying tougher enforcement and attracting new investment.

The document will consult on proposals to:

• modernise the reasons a landlord can use to get back possession of their property;
• enable tenants to stay in their home at the end of their lease unless one of the new reasons above occur; and
• introduce longer notice periods for landlords and tenants.

It will also explore issues relating to rent levels.

Housing Minister Margaret Burgess said:

“If tenants have more security in their tenure, they may feel more confident in asserting their rights and flagging any concerns about their rented property without fear of eviction. In addition to this if tenants know they can only be asked to leave their home on certain specified grounds they will have a greater feeling of security.

“But equally a new tenancy system provides an opportunity to improve the private rented sector for landlords. We can tackle some of the long-standing issues they face, like problems around recovering the possession of their property and rent arrears. These changes could give landlords more reassurance in the system.

“Housing is a priority for this Government which is why we are consulting on these proposals to make sure our private rented sector is a strong as it can be.

“Our vision is for Scotland’s private rented sector to be an attractive and affordable housing option for anyone who wishes to live in it.

“Reforming the tenancy system is an important part of achieving this vision. By creating a new and simplified system we will have better property management, while tenants and landlords will be provided with more clarity and understanding of what the tenancy agreement means for them.”

The consultation will run from 6 October until 28 December 2014 and can be viewed atwww.scotland.gov.uk/isbn/9781784128203

Notes To Editors

The proposals in this consultation build on the work and report findings of the Private Rented Sector Tenancy Review Group, which was set up by Ministers in September 2013 to review the suitability and effectiveness of the current private rented sector system.

The Scottish Government’s Private Rented Sector Strategy was published in May 2013 and is available to view at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/05/5877

Channel website: https://www.icaew.com

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