Scottish Government
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Higher standards for private rented housing

Tenants and landlords are set to benefit from new plans to modernise Scotland’s private rented sector, Housing Minister Margaret Burgess said recently.

The Private Rented Sector strategy outlines the Scottish Government’s plans to work in partnership with letting agents on the introduction of new regulations for the industry.

The strategy also lays out plans to attract investment to support the construction sector  to build new homes.  

Speaking at a joint Shelter Scotland and Scottish Association of Landlords event, the Minister set out the Government’s aim to improve management standards and quality of service for tenants and landlords.

She said:

“Scotland enjoys a thriving private rented sector, and I am eager that it continues to grow in a way that meets the needs of every tenant and landlord.

“Letting Agents play an important role in managing private rented properties.  We want to ensure that all Letting Agents meet the standards of those that provide the best service.  By working together with letting agents on further regulation of the industry, we will help to ensure  private rented accommodation is of a good quality and well managed, benefitting both  tenants and landlords.

"One of our key challenges is to address the growing demand for private rented housing, from short term flexible rents to longer term tenancies.  This Strategy commits us to consulting in the near future with all stakeholders to examine the suitability and effectiveness of the current tenancy regime, and we will consider legislative change where required.”

Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland, said:

“Scotland’s private rented sector is changing. Over the last ten years the number of families with children renting privately has doubled. However the laws and rules were created with students and young professionals in mind, not the 75,400 families with children who now rent privately. With that number set to continue rising over the next ten years, now is the time to rethink renting in Scotland. 

“Scotland needs a private rented sector that is affordable, safe, secure and fit for families. A sector that provides long-term, high-quality homes for those who need them and lets families put down roots in their community. A sector that rewards professional landlords and letting agents that play by the rules and a sector shaped for 21st century Scotland.

“Today’s Scottish Government strategy is therefore both timely and in touch with the changes in Scotland’s communities. We look forward to working with the Minister and the industry to make that vision a reality.”

John Blackwood, Chief Executive of Scottish Association of Landlords said:

“The Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) welcomes this publication as it reinforces the existing good practice of by far the majority of landlords and letting agents in Scotland. SAL also welcomes the Scottish Government’s aim to see the private rented sector in Scotland grow and provide a well-managed housing sector”.

Link to strategy:

2021 Public Sector Digital Marketing Summit: 22-23 September 2021