BLOG: Will The Last Landlord To Leave Scotland Please Turn Out The Lights

With the consistent implementation of draconian legislation over the last year from the Scottish Government, it’s no surprise that more landlords are leaving the private rented sector than ever before.

Although some may cheer at the news, what they fail to realise is that the PRS has been propping up the social rented sector since 69% of council houses were sold off in the 1980s and never replaced. Now there is a shortage in supply right across Scotland – and it’s about to get worse.

Specific circumstances With a rent freeze in place and a ban on evictions until March 2023, landlords will not be able to pass on any cost increases unless they can clearly demonstrate hardship, plus they cannot evict tenants unless specific circumstances are met and, even then, the Scottish Government have not made this easy at all.

Along comes the increase in tax on a second home purchase to 6% – with the rest of the UK at 3% – and it’s all got too much for the private investor who has consistently propped up and supported the rental sector for the last 20 years. If the private landlord leaves the sector, what are we to replace it with in such a short space of time?

Social housing It’s all very well blaming the private landlord for buying up properties to rent and keeping them from potential first-time buyers, but where are the tenants currently living in those properties to go? The Scottish Government isn’t building enough social housing to keep up. The only person who will suffer is the tenant through lack of choice and possibly no choice at all, which could see a huge surge in homelessness on the horizon.

Jim Parker has been a private landlord and investor for 30 years and also runs multi-branch East Coast lettings agency Fife Properties.

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