Landlord Knowledge - Home of the Savvy Buy to Let Property Investor

Scottish landlords hit out against hostile environment

There could soon be 36,000 fewer homes available to rent in Scotland, the Scottish Association of Landlords has warned.

Damaging rhetoric from the Scottish Government criticising private landlords is to blame, it said. Instead of encouraging needed investment in the sector it is causing Scottish landlords to consider quitting the sector.

SAL’s latest survey has found many members disgruntled about what they see as a hostile and increasingly demanding environment for private landlords.

Of 635 members, with a collective portfolio of just over 4,200 properties, no less than 34 per cent said they were planning to reduce their portfolio in the next ten years. The two most common reasons given were increased regulation in the sector (62 per cent) and perceived hostility from government (60 per cent).

‘Even assuming a modest reduction of one property per landlord, this would lead to a fall of over 36,000 properties available to rent across Scotland’, said SAL. Without change, current housing shortages will only get worse, it said, pointing to a recent study by the University of Glasgow. This found that most tenants who would lose their homes if a landlord chose to sell, thus increasing pressure on social housing and homelessness services.

‘The private rented sector plays a key role in providing good quality housing in Scotland. Those who think anti-landlord rhetoric is doing any other than making it harder for people to keep a roof over their heads are kidding themselves’, said SAL chief executive John Blackwood.

‘Our members are very clear. Demonising landlords is leading to fewer homes being available to rent in the coming decade. We also know that many renting tenants are normally not in a position to access home ownership. Tenants who cannot access the private sector will only pile pressure onto already strained social housing and homelessness services.

‘Increasing the supply of rented accommodation is the only way forward. The Scottish Government needs to support private landlords and encourage investment in the private rented sector while also building more social homes to rent and doing that a lot faster. Otherwise far from tackling Scotland’s current housing crisis, we will only see it get worse’.