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Landlords lobby SNP to halt tenant protection reforms

Landlords are lobbying the SNP to halt rental reforms.

Landlords are begging the Scottish Government to drop new laws which would make it tougher to evict tenants.

The SNP and Greens vowed to clamp down on illegal evictions and promised to strengthen rights for renters last December.

But property owners and rural landlords who lease out their homes warn they could sell up, leaving the rental sector in “grave danger” of supply shortages.

The Scottish Association of Landlords and the country’s national farming union are among groups who want the SNP to abandon reforms despite soaring costs in many areas.

‘Grave danger’

In a letter to the government, they claim: “The Scottish Government’s plans to supposedly give tenants facing eviction greater protection is in grave danger of ruining the supply of homes for rent.

“Instead of safeguarding the interests of tenants, what is more likely to happen is that many properties will be withdrawn from the market and sold at a time when there is a pressing need for rental homes.”

In an attack on Green government minister Patrick Harvie, they add: “The impact on the housing supply appears to have either been dismissed or viewed as acceptable fallout to deliver minister Patrick Harvie’s continued attack on private landlords.”

Rent struggles

Meanwhile, house prices have soared in cities and rural areas, pricing many Scots out of buying their own house.

Young people in rural areas have previously complained about being excluded from the market due to an influx of buy-to-let landlords and holiday homes.

Some of the measures being proposed by the Scottish Government to stop evictions were initially introduced during the Covid pandemic.

The SNP and Greens published their new deal for tenants towards the end of last year.

Proposals include allowing renters to have more flexibility for keeping pets and setting minimum standards for energy efficiency.

At the time Green minister Patrick Harvie said: “Now is the time to do more for people who rent their homes, whether they are renting privately, from the council or from a housing association.

The government has said it could take until 2026 before proper rent controls are introduced.

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