Policy & Lobbying
Private Rented Sector
In some rural areas the private rented sector is often the main, or only, housing option for those unable to purchase a home on the open market. Over the last few years the sector has seen a number of changes, largely through increased regulation and reform of the housing benefit system. 

Scottish Land & Estates is working with members, the Scottish Government, local authorities and other stakeholders  to ensure that the Private Rented Sector plays an important role in the provision of good quality, effective housing supply.

 

 

 

    Private Rented Sector News

    • 25/11/2016 - PRHP duties transfer to Tribunal
      First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber (Procedure) Regulations come into force on the 1st December transferring the Private Rented Housing Panel’s duties to the new Tribunal system.  As a consequence the Tenant Information Pack has been altered and members are reminded
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    • 22/02/2016 - Argyll & Bute Local Housing Strategy
      Argyll & Bute Council has published its draft Local Housing Strategy. The council are looking for comments on this by the end of March. 
      read more...

    • 22/02/2016 - Hutting Good Practice Guidance
      The Thousand Huts campaign launched a guide for planners, architects and prospective hut builders at a parliamentary reception on Tuesday. The document is designed to support the Scottish Planning Policy on huts and includes guidance on siting and location, services, and the land surrounding huts. It has a strong focus on
      read more...

    • 11/02/2016 - Private Tenancies Bill - Stage 2
      The ICI Committee met on Wednesday for stage two of the Private Tenancies Bill. The debate was disappointing from a landlord’s perspective as there was very little recognition from MSPs of the landlord’s position. In particular, we believe there has been a failure to appreciate the importance of being able to regain po
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    • 11/02/2016 - Amendments to Tenancy Bill will create significant problems for rural housing suppliers
      Scottish Land & Estates has said new amendments to the Private Housing (Tenancies) Bill have the potential to create significant problems for the provision of rural homes. The Bill reached its Stage Two process when the Scottish Parliament’s Infrastruct
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    • 11/02/2016 - Code of Conduct for agents of landlords and tenants
      A stage 2 amendment to the Land Reform (Scotland) Bill was passed by the Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee today which specifies that the Tenant Farming Commissioner may bring forward a code of conduct for the agents of landlords and tenants of agricultural holdings.  The amendment was pro
      read more...

    • 20/01/2016 - Private Housing (Tenancies) Bill
      The Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee published their stage 1 report at the end of last week and the stage 1 debate was held in Parliament on Tuesday. The Scottish Government remains confident that the right balance has been struck between security for tenants and safeguards for landlords. We remain committed
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    • 20/01/2016 - Regulation of Letting Agents
      Analysis of the consultation on a draft statutory code of practice and training requirements has been published by Scottish Government and The Letting Agent Code of
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    • 14/01/2016 - Hutting Consultation
        Members are reminded that the Scottish Government is currently consulting on amending the building standards for the construction of huts and bothies. The consultation ends on 12th February. If you would like to feed in to this consultation please contact Katy Dickson at HQ.
      read more...

    • 12/11/2015 - Carbon Monoxide detector reminder
      Members are reminded that any new tenancy from 1st December must have appropriate carbon monoxide detection in place. All tenancies must have the detectors installed by December 2016. A members' information sheet is available
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    • 12/11/2015 - Electrical testing requirement reminder
      Members are reminded that any new tenancy from the 1st December must have an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) and all appliances supplied by the landlord must be PAT tested. All let properties must have completed these tests by December 2016 and the test must be renewed at least every fiv
      read more...

    • 02/10/2015 - Housing Minister Raises Immigration Check Concerns
        Housing Minister, Margaret Burgess, has written to the UK Government Immigration Minister to express concerns about the requirements for landlords to check the immigration status of prospective tenants which was introduced in the Immigration Act. The provisions are currentl
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    • 01/09/2015 - Landowners welcome government commitment to rural housing
      Scottish Land & Estates has today welcomed the Scottish Government’s announcement on the private rental sector, with new funding for rural housing ‘critical’ for the future of countryside communities. As part of the programme for government, the Fir
      read more...

    • 27/08/2015 - Regulation of Letting Agents Consultation
       The Scottish Government has published a consultation on the draft code of practice and training requirements for letting agents. The consultation document can be found here and is open for responses unti
      read more...

    • 24/08/2015 - Regulation of Letting Agents Consultation
      The Scottish Government has published a consultation on the draft code of practice and training requirements for letting agents. The consultation document can be found here and is open for responses until
      read more...

    • 19/08/2015 - Rural Fuel Poverty Taskforce
      The Scottish Government has launched a taskforce to establish ways to make it easier and cheaper for people in rural areas to heat their homes. Scottish Land & Estates is part of this taskforce which had its first meeting this week and will continue to meet for approximately a year.
      read more...

    • 16/07/2015 - Carbon Monoxide Statutory Guidance Published
      The Scottish Government has published statutory guidance for the provision of carbon monoxide alarms in rented property. Regard must be had to the guidance in determining whether a house meets the repairing standards. The standard must be met by 1 December 2015 for new tenancies and 1st December 2016 for all ten
      read more...

    • 23/06/2015 - Empty Homes Advice Service Launched
      The Scottish Empty Homes Partnership’s Empty Homes Advice Service was launched on the 16th of June.  The service offers advice to owners, neighbours and organisations requiring advice on an empty home. The Empty Homes Adviser can be reached on 0344 515 1941 or email
      read more...

    • 16/06/2015 - Rural Regulation Research Survey
      We encourage all members to complete this short survey (5-10 minutes) which looks are regulation of the rural sector. This is being conducted by Sven Robins who is undertaking a research placement with Highland Small Communities Housing Trust. The survey closes at 5pm on 23rd June.  
      read more...

    • 07/05/2015 - Private Tenancy E-Petition
      Scottish Land and Estates is adding rural weight to the Scottish Association of Landlord’s e-petition regarding the new residential tenancy. We encourage all members to sign up to this e-petition. h
      read more...

    • 07/05/2015 - Overcrowding Consultation
        The Scottish Government has published a consultation proposing the ability for Local Auhtorities to issue Overcrowding Statutory Notices to landlords in cases where there is overcrowding in the PRS and this impacts on the wellbeing of anyone in the property, or of the surrounding area. We will be submitting a
      read more...

    • 10/04/2015 - New Fuel Poverty Support Announced
      A new £14 million pound interest free loan scheme has been announced by the Scottish Government. Homeowners, from later this year, can claim up to £10,000 for energy efficiency works. There will also be another phase of the cashback scheme with £10 million allocated to homeowners and private tenants.
      read more...

    • 20/03/2015 - Rural landlords support targeted action to prevent retaliatory housing evictions and call for similar measures in Scotland
      A new English law banning retaliatory evictions in the private rental housing sector can pave the way for similar targeted legislation in Scotland, a rural membership organisation has said. Scottish Land & Estates, which represents rural businesses across
      read more...

    • 12/03/2015 - Electrical Safety Guidance
      The Scottish Government has published statutory guidance on electrical safety in private rented homes. An information sheet on this matter can be found on our website and the statutory guidance can be
      read more...

    • 06/03/2015 - Fuel Discount for Scotland's Rural Communities
        The UK Government is extending the rural fuel rebate to 17 more isolated communities, including 13 Scottish communities.   Residents across 17 of the UK’s most rural a
      read more...

    • 04/03/2015 - Electrical Safety in PRS
        The Scottish Government has published their statutory guidance on electrical installations and appliances in private rented property. All new tenancies from 1st December 2015 must have electrical certificates and all existing tenancies at 30th November
      read more...

    • 19/02/2015 - Powers to tackle problem tenants could be curtailed under new Scottish Government plans, industry warns
      Powers available to tackle anti-social, problem tenants could be reduced if new laws for the rental sector are introduced, according to industry bodies. Responses to a Scottish Government consultation, looking at reforms for the private rented sector, hav
      read more...

    • 15/01/2015 - PRS Reform - Action Required
      Members are urged to make politicians aware of the realities of the impact of removing the no fault ground for repossession. We need members to fill their local MSP’s post bags and email inboxes with letters of concern and stories of successful landlord/tenant relationships as well as where thin
      read more...

    • 10/12/2014 - Political Anger at Fuel Poverty Figures
      Housing Minister Margaret Burgess has said the latest fuel poverty figures in the Scottish House Condition Survey are ‘scandalous’. Since 2002 as incomes have dropped and fuel prices have risen, fuel poverty has increased and it is now estimated that 39.1% of households are in fuel poverty. A
      read more...

    • 09/12/2014 - Scottish House Condition Survey
      The Office for National Statistics has published the 2013 Scottish House Condition Survey Key Findings. The findings show an increase in fuel poverty as fuel costs have risen six times faster than household incomes since 2003. http://www.
      read more...

    • 05/11/2014 - Minister Urged to Deliver for Both Tenants and Landlords
      Scottish Land & Estates, whose membership is the largest provider of private affordable rental accommodation in rural areas, has marked National Landlord Day by appealing to the Scottish Government to pay heed to concerns over  its Tenancy Regime Consultation.
      read more...

    • 24/10/2014 - Report Shows Fall in Average House Rents
      Yourmove has released their Scotland Buy-To-Let Index which shows average monthly rents have fallen 0.2% in September. The average monthly private rent is currently £536. Looking over an annual period, rents are rising at
      read more...

    • 02/07/2014 - New Safety Regulations to come with passing of Housing (Scotland) Bill
        Private sector landlords should be aware that the Housing (Scotland) Bill was passed by Scottish Ministers on 25th June. This will bring in new regulation such the requirement for carbon monoxide alarms and 5 yearly electrical
      read more...

    • 15/05/2014 - The Housing (Scotland) Bill
        The Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee met in Parliament on Wednesday 14 May to debate the proposed stage 2 amendments to parts 1, 2 and 3 of the Bill. Regarding part 3 (private housing), as expected, the Housing Minister stated the tenancy regime
      read more...

    • 05/03/2014 - Unlawful letting Fees in Private Rental Sector continue despite first court case
      The first case of lettings agents charging private rented housing tenants unlawful fees concluded in Aberdeen Sheriff Court at the end of November with the defendant being found guilty. Despite this, there remains some uncertainty regarding fees and a number of letting agents continue to
      read more...

    • 13/11/2013 - Rural Housing Scotland Annual Conference
      RURAL HOUSING SCOTLAND ANNUAL CONFERENCE 27/28 FEBRUARY 2014 HILTON DUNKELD HOUSE | BIRNAM ARTS CENTRE Make sure you mark your diary for the RHS Annual Conference on the 27/28 February 2014.
      read more...

    • 17/10/2013 - RICS Scotland launches Scottish Housing Commission
      RICS Scotland has established a commission to recommend ways of delivering the right homes, in the right tenure, in the right places. A call for written evidence has been issued to assist the Commissioners in their work. The commission is calling on RICS member
      read more...

    • 11/09/2013 - Housing Tribunal announcement
      The Scottish Government has announced that a new housing tribunal is to be created as a specialist decision maker for disputes in the private rented sector (PRS).
      read more...

    • 04/09/2013 - Landlord fails to submit tenant's deposit
      Following the first case brought under the Scottish Government tenancy deposit regulations, Scottish Land & Estates is reminding members who have not submitted their tenant’s deposits in to one of the three approved Tenancy Deposit Schemes to do so immediately.
      read more...

    • 14/08/2013 - Views sought on tenancy deposit schemes
      Tenancy deposit schemes began operating in Scotland in July 2012. Scottish Land & Estates is keen to hear about members’ experiences using the schemes and whether you have come against any difficulties. We are particularly interested to know,
      read more...

    • 02/05/2013 - New tenant pack to improve private rented sector
        Minister for Housing and Welfare, Margaret Burgess, has launched a new Tenant Information pack for the private rented sector. Landlords now have a legal duty to provide the TIP to new tenants.  
      read more...

    • 10/04/2013 - Tenancy Information Pack Reminder
        Members are reminded that as from 1 May 2013 a landlord who enters into an assured or short assured tenancy, will be required to provide the tenant with standard documents no later than the date on which the tenancy starts. These standard documents will consist of
      read more...

    • 07/02/2013 - Tenant Information Pack
      Regulations which will introduce a legal duty for the private landlords to provide a Tenant Information Pack to new residential tenants have been laid in Scottish Parliament. Subject to Parliamentary procedure, these requirements will apply from 1 May 2013.  The Tenant Information Pack is now availa
      read more...

    • 16/01/2013 - Better Dispute Resolution in Housing: Consultation on Introduction of a New Housing Panel for Scotland
      The Scottish Government has published a consultation Better Dispute Resolution in Housing: Consultation on Introduction of a New Housing Panel for Scotland. The consultation seeks views on three principle options; ·     
      read more...

    • 19/12/2012 - Minister Urged to Revive Exemplary Housing Grant Scheme
      SCOTTISH Government Housing Minister Margaret Burgess MSP was today asked to revive the hugely successful Rural Homes for Rent grant scheme pioneered by Scottish Land & Estates and piloted by the Scottish Government in 2008, during a visit to
      read more...

    • 02/11/2012 - Unoccupied Premises Bill Passed
      Despite opposition, the Scottish Parliament has passed the Unoccupied Properties Bill, which will allow local authorities to charge up to double the current level of council tax on certain homes that have stood empty for more than a year, and reduce  rates relief on empty commercial properties.   A few amendments w
      read more...

    • 26/09/2012 - Landowners Respond to Community Empowerment Bill
      SCOTTISH Land & Estates, which represents 2,500 landowners and estates throughout Scotland, said today private landowners and estates are committed to supporting ‘progressive, practical and common sense’ initiatives that will benefit rural communities. Scottish Land & Estates has today submitted a full response to
      read more...

    • 07/09/2012 - Unoccupied Properties Bill
      The Unoccupied Properties Bill Stage 1 debate took place this week and Stage 2 amendments may now be lodged with the Legislation Team. The Bill will allow councils to remove existing discounts and increase council tax on c
      read more...

    • 27/08/2012 - An end to illegal charges on tenants
      Housing Minister Keith Brown today confirmed that letting agents should not be charging a range of upfront fees to private tenants.  Currently, under the Rent (Scotland Act) 1984, landlords and their agents can legally charge rent and a deposit only when granting a tenancy. However, current legislation has no
      read more...

    • 17/08/2012 - Housing Market
        The quarterly price index for the average domestic property in Scotland rose by 7.3% in the three months ending July 2012, according to the latest Scottish House Price Monitor from Lloyds TSB Scotland. On an annual, underlying basis, Scottish house prices have fallen by 1.5%. The average Scottish house pri
      read more...

    • 14/07/2012 - Rural Landowners Heartened At Funding For Empty Homes
      Scottish Land & Estates has praised the Scottish Government for doubling the amount of money it is making available for its Empty Homes Loan Fund.  The scheme, which was launched yesterday, will make available £4million to bring empty properties back into use to provide affordable housing with £2million being targeted at r
      read more...

    • 13/07/2012 - Empty Homes Loan Fund launched
      A call for bids for the Empty Homes Loan Fund has been launched this morning by the First Minister.  Organisations, including private landowners, will have until 3 October to submit bids for loan funding to renovate empty homes and make them available as affordable housing.  Guidance for bidders and a copy
      read more...

    • 13/07/2012 - Views given on the draft strategy for the private rented sector
      Scottish Land & Estates has this week responded to the Scottish Government’s  consultation on the draft strategy for the private rented sector. As well as reiterating points made previously in relation to the issues of landlord registration for properties on tenanted farms, the organisation also underlined the fact that th
      read more...

    • 13/07/2012 - Retention of Short Tenancy Option - The Best for Both Landlords and Tenants
      SCOTTISH Land & Estates has responded to the Government’s  draft strategy for the private rented sector.  The organisation, which represents over 2,500 Scottish landowners, has reiterated its view that the short assured tenancy regime offers flexibility for both tenants and landlords and  has also highlighted th
      read more...

    • 29/06/2012 - Committee welcomes ‘toolkit’ for tackling empty homes and businesses
      Proposals to give local authorities the power to vary empty property relief have been welcomed as a useful addition to the ‘toolkit’ available to help tackle the problem of long term empty homes and businesses. In its
      read more...

    • 28/06/2012 - Private Rented Housing Panel/ Homeowner Housing Panel positions available
      Scottish Ministers are seeking to appoint a number of legally qualified chairpersons, surveyor members and housing members for the Private Rented Housing Panel (prhp) / Homeowner Housing Panel (hohp).
      read more...

    • 27/06/2012 - Tenancy deposit schemes go live
      Members are reminded that three Tenancy Deposit Schemes will officially launch on MONDAY 2nd JULY. Under the Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011, the legal duties on landlords are: to pay deposits to an approved tenancy deposit scheme, and  to provide
      read more...

    • 27/06/2012 - Consultation launched on Scotland’s draft Sustainable Housing Strategy
      The Sustainable Housing Strategy will set out the Scottish Government’s vision of a housing sector that helps to establish a successful low carbon economy across Scotland. The Strategy has five themes: A national retrofit programme The role of standards Financial market tr
      read more...

    • 01/06/2012 - Two more Tenancy Deposit Schemes approved
      Housing Minister Keith Brown has approved two more tenancy deposit schemes from SafeDeposits Scotland and Mydeposits Scotland. The first tenancy deposit scheme – administered by Letting Protection Service – was approved by Ministers in April. All three schemes will operate across Scotland from 2 July 2012
      read more...

    • 11/05/2012 - Unoccupied Premises
      Scottish Land & Estates has this week submitted evidence to the Subordinate Legislation Committee to the scottish Parliament on the Local Government Finance (Unoccupied Properties Etc.) (Scotland) Bill.  Our Head of Policy will be giving oral evidence to the Committee on Wednesday 15 May 2012.
      read more...

    • 10/05/2012 - Affordable Housing Investment
      The Scottish Government this week announced that all of Scotland’s 32 local authorities will receive a share of almost £582 million in subsidy for affordable housing over the next three years. This is part of the Government investment of at least £710m in the Affordable Housing Supply Programme (AHSP). Th
      read more...

    • 26/04/2012 - Campaign to halt changes to VAT on heritage
      From 1 October 2012, the Government intends to remove the VAT zero-rating on alterations to listed buildings. The proposed additional tax burden of £125million each year would halt or jeopardise projects such as converting redundant buildings into new
      read more...

    • 17/04/2012 - Better protection for tenants renting from private landlords
      More than 270,000 private sector tenants in Scotland will get better protection and improved services, under plans unveiled by the Scottish Government today. As well as helping people deal with the small number of rogue landlords, a consultation launched by Housing Minister Keith Brown, will help improve the system fo
      read more...

    • 17/04/2012 - Better protection for tenants renting from private landlords
      More than 270,000 private sector tenants in Scotland will get better protection and improved services, under plans unveiled by the Scottish Government today.
      read more...

    • 10/04/2012 - Update on tenancy deposit schemes
      Following a number of queries about how the compliance dates for the Tenancy Deposit Schemes have been calculated, the dates had been referred back to the Scottish Government's legal team to
      read more...

    • 05/04/2012 - Update on tenancy deposit schemes
      As Members may be aware, the Scottish Government received three proposals for the operation of tenancy deposit schemes in Scotland. The Minister for Housing and Transport has today announced the approval o
      read more...

    • 05/04/2012 - Consultation on the Charging of Premiums in the Private Rented Sector
      A consultation has been launched on how to deal with unfair and illegal premiums that can prove a barrier to people getting into rented accommodation.  Housing Minister Keith Brown said:  "Responsible letting agents play an increasingly important role in the Scottish private rented sector with the majority
      read more...

    • 05/04/2012 - Briefing note: Local Government Finance (Unoccupied Properties etc.) (Scotland) Bill
      The Scottish Government introduced a Bill in the Scottish Parliament on 26 March 2012. This briefing note sets out the three major areas covered by the Bill:-
      read more...

    • 23/02/2012 - Guidance on Householder Permitted Development Rights
       The Scottish Government has published new guidance on householder permitted development rights following consultation in 2011 which looked to relax the need for a planning permission for instances of small alterations and extensions. The purpose of the guidance is to explain the permitted development rights availabl
      read more...

    • 07/02/2012 - Consultation: Proposed Tenancy Deposit Schemes - Revised Terms of SafeDeposits Scotland
      The Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations
      read more...

    • 03/02/2012 - Rural Housing Enabler, Loch Lomond & Trossachs, Rural Housing Service
      Rural Housing EnablerSalary £24,480 pa. pro rata (17.5 hours per week)(1 year contract - extension may be possible) The Rural Housing Service is seeking an enthusiastic and committed person to work with rural communities in Loch Lomond & The
      read more...

    • 02/02/2012 - Housing development at Ardkinglas Estate Cairndow
      Housing development at nos. 4 & 5 Pheasant Field Ardkinglas Estate, Cairndow, Argyll. Two houses constructed by Ardkinglas Estate with support from the Scottish Government’s Rural Homes for Rent grant scheme were opened today by Sarah Jane Laing of Scottish Land & Estates. The pair
      read more...

    • 01/02/2012 - Latest on Welfare Reform Bill
      The UK Government's Welfare Reform plans will rob Scotland of over £54 million a year, new analysis has confirmed, Housing Minister Keith Brown claimed today.The Westminster Bill will reduce the amount of housing benefit support that can be given to tenants in the social rented sector
      read more...

    • 10/01/2012 - Consultation response: Council Tax on Long Term Empty Properties and Housing Support Grant
      Scottish Land & Estates has responded to the Scottish Government consultation on the proposal to introduce a Council Tax on long term empty properties. To view our response please see the attachment below.
      read more...

    • 08/12/2011 - Tenancy deposit schemes consultation
      Tenancy deposit schemes consultation The Scottish Government has announced a consultation paper on the terms of two proposed tenancy deposit schemes http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2011/11/281
      read more...

    • 18/11/2011 - Energy Performance Certificate Fee Consultation
      The Scottish Government has launched a consultation seeking views on the introduction of an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) lodgement transaction fee for non-domestic buildings upon creation of a database and the introduction of a transaction fee for the lodgement of EPCs for dwellings on the H
      read more...

    • 10/11/2011 - National Landlord Day
      Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Scottish Association of Landlords this week held the largest landlord conference in the UK. National Landlord Day held at Our Dynamic was host to over 300 delegates and 40 exhibition stalls. Housing Minister, Keith Brown, highlighted Scottish Government’s policy priorities for t
      read more...

    • 09/11/2011 - Boiler Scrappage Scheme
      The Scottish Government has recently announced a new round of funding for a boiler scrappage scheme for private sector landlords.The Energy Saving Scotland Private Sector Landlords Boiler Scrappage Scheme offers private sector landlords £400 towards the cost of upgrading
      read more...

    • 06/11/2011 - Almost £2m of Loans Awarded to Community Heating Projects
      Loans worth £1.9m have been announced to help community heating projects. The district schemes will heat about 280 homes and are expected to save more than 68,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over 25 years. It is part of a pilot project
      read more...

    • 20/10/2011 - Council tax levy to tackle empty homes
      Council tax levy to tackle empty homesCouncils are to receive new powers to tax empty homes that could help raise millions to build new affordable houses. The Council Tax on Empty Homes and Housing Support Grant Bill proposals could apply to the 25,000 properties that have currently been empty for more than six
      read more...

    • 05/10/2011 - Housing Benefit Reform Update
      To help raise awareness about the UK Government's HB reforms and their potential impacts on household incomes, the Scottish Government has launched a dedicated webpage, which can be found here
      read more...

    • 09/09/2011 - Houses in Multiple Occupation
      Legislation intended to clarify and simplify the process for a Landlord to apply for a Houses in Multiple Occupation Licence came into force on 31 August 2011.  However, this includes severe penalties for non-compliance in relation to HMOs entered into after that date (and which were not existing or pending before), of which
      read more...

    • 22/07/2011 - Review of Landlord Registration Published
      The Scottish Government has published an Evaluation of the Impact and Operation of Landlord Registration in Scotland, which looks at the operational impact of the policy and legislative framework for landlord registration and the effectiveness of the associated administrative systems. The research indicates that the Landlord
      read more...


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