The Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill has now completed Stage 1 of its progress through the Scottish Parliament. A copy of the Stage 1 report can be found here:

Stage 1 Report on the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill.pdf

 

The Bill will introduce a new tenancy for the Private Rented Sector ("PRS"). In terms of this, as currently drafted, Landlords will no longer be entitled to end tenancies at the contractual termination date. They will only be entitled to obtain possession of their property on certain grounds which will be set out in the legislation. 

 

Various issues were raised during Stage 1 of the Bill’s progress through Parliament, including concerns of the effect of the Bill on lets to students in the PRS. There is a genuine concern that landlords will have difficulty in committing to leasing flats to students (as is the current practice) before the current tenants have left: there is no specific ground proposed in the Bill to enable such landlords to obtain possession of their flats and, accordingly, previous tenants could remain in the property indefinitely. Similarly, there is no specific ground to allow a landlord to terminate a tenancy in order to lease a property to a new employee. There are concerns that this could have an adverse impact on the availability of housing stock, particularly in rural communities.

 

Although these concerns have been noted by the Committee, as noted in the report views have also been expressed that a change in landlords’ management practices and communication with tenants will resolve issues which may arise as a result of these proposed changes in the tenancy regime. Landlords must remember, however, that their management practices will have to accord with the relevant legislative framework. The Committee has recommended the Scottish Government give further thought to these issues at Stage 2 of the Bill’s progress through the Scottish Parliament.

 

If you wish to make representations regarding the Bill it is recommended you do so prior to Stage 2 which is scheduled to commence on 10th February 2016. Representations should be made to your MSP and you may wish to copy them to the Committee Members who are:-

 

Infrastructure & Capital Investment Committee:

 

The relevant spokespersons are:

Scottish Government Minister for Housing and Welfare

Labour Housing Spokesperson

Liberal Democrats Housing Spokesperson

Conservative Housing Spokesperson

 



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