March 6, 2024 2:36 pm

Insert Lead Generation
Nikka Sulton

Green Party activists, proponents of rent controls in Scotland, are now expressing disapproval towards landlords who assert a reduction in the availability of rented homes. According to a survey conducted by the Scottish Association of Landlords, there is a potential loss of 22,000 privately rented properties within the span of the last 12 months.

The survey sheds light on the primary reasons behind this significant decline. One prominent factor is the perceived hostility landlords feel from the Scottish Government. This antagonism, coupled with concerns over proposed regulations and an overall increase in regulatory measures within the sector, has created an environment contributing to the reported reduction in the number of available rental properties.

The findings of the survey underscore the complex interplay of regulatory dynamics and their impact on the housing market. Green Party activists argue that these trends are indicative of the need for more comprehensive and tenant-friendly policies, while landlords maintain that a more balanced approach that considers their concerns is essential for sustaining a healthy rental market.

The survey of members from the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) took place in December, aiming to gather insights into the size of their rental property portfolios and anticipated changes over time. According to the respondents, an average of 6.4% of their properties had already been withdrawn from the sector. Extrapolating this across the entire private rented sector in Scotland, it suggests that approximately 21,760 homes, accounting for 6.4% of the total 340,000 homes, may have been lost from the sector in the past year.

SAL posits that the decline in available properties stands as the primary contributing factor to the escalating rent levels within the private rental sector. This decrease is identified as a significant element in Scotland’s ongoing housing crisis, emphasizing the need for comprehensive measures to address the challenges faced by both landlords and tenants.

A substantial 56% of respondents express intentions to reduce the size of their property portfolios, while a mere 9% are contemplating an increase. Contrary to these findings, Green Party activists challenge this perspective, citing the official landlord register, which indicates a 1.7% increase in the number of registered rental properties in Scotland in recent years.

Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer comments on the matter, highlighting a perceived desperation within the landlord lobby resorting to claims inconsistent with available evidence. Greer asserts that, contrary to the assertion of a decline in the past 18 months, the number of rented properties has, in fact, witnessed an upward trend. He emphasizes the need to examine the complete picture, recognizing that fluctuations in the number of properties being rented are a natural occurrence with some entering and exiting the market.

In the past two decades, landlord groups have consistently responded to new regulations with predictions of mass exodus, yet the number of rental homes has surged from 120,000 pre-devolution to over 340,000 today. The landlords association contends that the register, which indicates a stable long-term number of rental properties, has not yet accounted for a recent surge in sell-offs.

Despite the longstanding claims of landlord groups predicting a decline due to regulatory changes, the rental housing market has not only endured but flourished, witnessing substantial growth from 120,000 properties before devolution to a current tally exceeding 340,000. The landlords association argues that the existing register portrays a consistent, long-term figure for rental properties and is yet to reflect a recent surge in sell-offs.



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