The principle of the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill, stage 1, which was debated in the Scottish Parliament yesterday afternoon (Thursday 21 January), has been well supported by landlords’ and tenants’ representatives as well as all political parties.
However, Scottish Land & Estates urges the Housing Minister to think again over its disregard for the need to allow landlords a ground to gain vacant possession of a property in order to accommodate a new employee.
Katy Dickson, Policy Officer at Scottish Land & Estates, said: “The absence of a ground to allow a landlord to take property back in hand to provide a home for a new employee was raised by Highland MSP Dave Stewart and North East MSP Alex Johnstone during yesterday’s debate. This ground is fundamental to rural businesses and the impact will be that the business cannot expand, or homes will be taken out of the rental market and either left empty or used as holiday housing in order to create a flexible housing option.
“This is not what the sector needs and it was disappointing to hear Housing Minister, Margaret Burgess, reply that she was not convinced this ground was necessary although we welcome her intention to continue working with stakeholders. The new tenancy regime is a real opportunity to get the balance right. The Scottish Government has used this term frequently yet continues to fail to recognise the damage to the sector, and all those who rely on it. In particular, the Minister’s approach will be at odds with the Scottish Government’s sustainable development objective – this is one of many mixed messages being sent to businesses, especially those in rural areas.
“Now that the principle of the Bill has been approved by Parliament all those with housing interests must work together at stage 2 of the parliamentary process to ensure the detail of the Bill successfully achieves its potential and delivers for the sector.”
The Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill aims to provide greater security of tenure to tenants while providing safeguard to landlords. More details on the Bill can be found at http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/92310.aspx