Posts with tag: Scottish rental sector

Fresh Opposition to Scottish Rent Controls

The Scottish Government is facing fresh opposition to its plan to introduce rent controls in the private rental sector.

The controls are set to be implemented in rental hotspots as part of the Government’s legislative programme.

Now, lettings portal Citylets has revealed that it has not found any hotspots.

It claims that in real terms, almost all rent prices have dropped across Scotland since the start of the recession.

Fresh Opposition to Scottish Rent Controls

Fresh Opposition to Scottish Rent Controls

Even in the major cities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, rents for most property types have declined in real terms.

And where rents have increased – in the two-bedroom markets in Edinburgh and Glasgow – Citylets found that price growth only rose from 1.45% to 3.8% since 2008.

Founder of Citylets, Thomas Ashdown, insists: “Rents are not out of control in this country. They are, on the whole, falling in real terms and it is simply not credible for any party to contend otherwise.

“As far as we can see, it is only the two-bedroom markets in Edinburgh and Glasgow that have risen above inflation over the last eight years with just three postcodes recording double digit growth – EH1, EH9 and G12.”1 

Earlier this month, Zoopla named Edinburgh the best place for landlords to invest in student accommodation.

The research found that four out of five of the most profitable locations for buy-to-let investors are in Scotland.

Zoopla’s report states that a four-bed house in Edinburgh has a high rental yield because of an average price of £426,774, at a rent of £2,171 per month.

Properties in Oxford and Warwick have higher selling prices than in Edinburgh, at an average of £559,312 and £482,569 respectively, but returns on investment are lower due to monthly rents of £2,148 and £1,924.

Economist at Rettie & Co and a spokesperson for pressure group PRS 4 Scotland, Dr John Boyle, comments on the report: “The numbers quoted by Zoopla highlighting rental yields across the UK might encourage those looking to introduce rent controls in Scotland, but in reality the picture is quite fragile.

“We need a continuous supply of high quality rental accommodation to meet growing student demand, and while returns are good for those who have invested in buy-to-let in our university cities, investors and lenders perceive a far higher risk here than elsewhere in the UK.”

He continues: “The prospect of rent controls without any balance in the form of tax or planning regulations to encourage investment is a huge cause for concern.

“Add to this the proposed new tenancy agreement, which will make a landlord unable to repossess a property at the end of a contract, and suddenly the reason to invest becomes even less compelling.

“We have a serious housing shortage in Scotland, and a strong, modern and sustainable rental market is essential.”1

Meanwhile, Your Move has revealed that rents in Scotland fell in August, the first monthly decrease since January, while rent arrears rose to 12.2% of all rent due.

Your Move’s Brian Moran believes that rent controls “will end up being more of a hindrance than a help to tenants if landlords are dissuaded from investing in the private rented sector as a result”1.





Letting Agent Supports Shelter’s Scottish Campaign

Published On: July 9, 2015 at 12:50 pm


Categories: Landlord News

Tags: ,,,

A letting agent has voiced his support of housing charity Shelter’s Scottish campaign to improve the private rental sector.

Director of Umega Lettings in Edinburgh, Neil McInnes, says it is a “no-brainer” to back the Make Renting Right campaign.

Letting Agent Supports Shelter's Scottish Campaign

Letting Agent Supports Shelter’s Scottish Campaign

Shelter’s campaign involves calling for rent controls and abolishing the no-fault reason for ending a tenancy. Both measures are due to be introduced in a Housing Bill this autumn.

In a post on Shelter Scotland’s website, McInnes writes: “There are many positive changes to legislation being tabled, to list a few:

  • A new simpler standard tenancy for use across the board instead of the over-complicated outdated tenancy in use at the moment.
  • A new specialised arbitration panel to deal with tenancy legal issues instead of the tediously slow and poor experience of the wider court system.
  • Compulsory letting agent regulation to professionalise a wildly inconsistent market.
  • Simpler interpretations of legal requirements for landlord arounds electrical and fire safety.”

He continues: “Much of the reaction to the Shelter Scotland campaign has focused on supposed rent controls and removing the no-fault ground for ending a tenancy.

“However, Shelter Scotland is only proposing that private tenants be protected from unreasonable rent increases.

“Shelter Scotland wants to remove the no-fault ground for ending a tenancy so that landlords can’t hold tenants ransom in their own home over not carrying out repairs that are legally required.”

McInnes believes: “However, every other reason for a landlord wanting to bring a tenancy to an end (in my experience) is being left in so I fail to see how these changes weaken the landlord’s position.

“It would be easy for us to bury our heads in the sand and take up a safe and predictable position around the changes that are coming but that would be irresponsible.”

McInnes adds: “This is a golden opportunity to get it right and we’ll do all we can to help by supporting the Make Renting Right campaign and working with both tenants and landlords on solutions that are practical and effective for the long term.”1 


Lettings Sector Petition goes to Scottish Parliament

Published On: May 12, 2015 at 3:24 pm


Categories: Landlord News

Tags: ,,

Lettings Sector Petition goes to Scottish Parliament

Lettings Sector Petition goes to Scottish Parliament

An association representing the private rental sector has organised a petition to be put before the Scottish Parliament to prevent the introduction of rent controls.

The group has the opinion that “there is no role for the regulation of area-based rent limitations in Scotland”1 and has been launched by PRS4 Scotland, a pressure group including letting agents, landlords, portals and investors.

The issue was raised after the current government consultation, which closed on Friday, included the subject of rent controls.

Veteran letting agent David Alexander is a member behind the petition. He says that politicians could find that tenants or landlords do not accept rent controls.

He states: “Potential landlords will be scared off from entering the sector while many existing ones are likely to disinvest, which can only lead to a reduction in stock.

“At a time when young couples are finding difficulty in raising the large deposits required by mortgage lenders, what we need is more, not less, homes for rent.”1

Alexander is also against efforts by Scottish MSPs to stop landlords repossessing their properties unless they want to sell it or move in themselves.