Scottish Land & Estates has welcomed plans to simplify residential tenancies in new legislation introduced today - but warned that more needs to be done to maintain supply and attract new investment to the private rented sector in Scotland.
The comments were made in response to the Scottish Government’s introduction of the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill earlier today.
Members of Scottish Land & Estates are at the forefront of supplying rural housing across the country, many at affordable rents.
The organisation said there were many positive elements to the Bill but that certain elements could impact on rural housing supply.
Katy Dickson, Policy Officer (Business & Property) at Scottish Land & Estates, said: "We welcome the degree of clarity that the introduction of the Bill has provided and we can see that there are many positive elements to the government’s proposals.
"The simplification of the tenancy regime is something that we have long argued for and it is pleasing that the Scottish Government has made a concerted effort to address the need for reform.
"The introduction of a single notice to leave system, with robust and reasonable grounds on which to end a tenancy, is to be welcomed, and increased notice periods will hopefully address many of the concerns regarding security and certainty raised during the consultation.
"As we have pointed out throughout the consultation process, the removal of the 'no-fault' ground for repossession would leave a significant gap where landlords may struggle to deal to remove tenants, especially where there are issues of anti-social behaviour that affect both the landlord and neighbouring properties. We hope the new system will address these concerns but we will need to study the Bill in more detail over the coming days. In particular we hope that the progressive repossession grounds for rent arrears cases will actually deliver an effective measure for the many landlords who routinely face this issue.
"With our members providing much of the rented rural housing stock across the country, we also want to see a new regime that delivers for these areas, so are disappointed that the ground to recover possession because the property is required for an agricultural worker is not included.
"The Scottish rental sector has long faced issues with high demand, low supply and problems enforcing the current legislation. We hope the current legislation will not reduce supply or exacerbate the lack of investment in the sector."