Over the past decade the Scottish Private Rented Sector has been subject to new legislation and regulations aiming to drive up standards within the letting industry. However, without the right enforcement these new laws become obsolete.
According to a survey carried out by Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL), 69% of Scottish people believe local authorities should do more to ensure the existing laws (including requirement for landlord registration, gas & electrical safety checks and lodging deposits with one of the Government approved schemes) are being obeyed.
National Landlord Day
At this year’s National Landlord Day, which Citylets was proud to sponsor, SAL announced their support for a statutory guidance for local authorities on landlord registration that the Scottish Government is consulting on. The event was held at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh on Thursday 8th November and anticipated by 350 delegates from across Scotland.
The concern is that there is still a significant number of landlords who, despite the legal requirement for registration with their local councils, do not do comply. By breaking the law and not fulfilling their responsibilities, rogue landlords are able to cut their costs. This puts the responsible landlords at a disadvantage and could result in them being pushed out of the market. The standard of rented accommodation would likely deteriorate and tenants could face misery.
A call for better enforcement of landlord registration
“It is not acceptable that landlords who blatantly ignore their legal responsibilities are allowed to continue to operate unhindered. There is evidence of some good enforcement activity by local authorities but the challenge for all of us is how we deliver consistency”, says John Blackwood, Chief Executive of SAL.
“We fully support stronger guidance for local authorities on landlord registration and, indeed, any other measures which will increase enforcement and make existing laws and regulations more effective.”
“We know council budgets are under pressure but we believe that simply by better communication and link-up between different departments within local authorities, along with increased awareness, enforcement would be more effective.”
“SAL wants to improve education of landlords and tenants about exactly what their rights and responsibilities are and work with the authorities to ensure criminal landlords cannot rent out properties. If we can achieve that, we will see a more effective PRS in Scotland which protects tenants and continues to provide the high-quality rented housing which is needed across Scotland.”
“The Scottish Government is consulting on statutory guidance for local authorities on landlord registration and developing a new landlord registration IT system to replace the existing outdated one. These improvements will help local authorities to focus more on delivering effective advice and support to landlords and tenants, securing compliance by landlords and targeting enforcement at those that deliberately flout the law.”
SAL is the largest and only dedicated landlords organisation that has strong links with Scottish local authorities and actively campaigns at local and national level on behalf of landlords and agents throughout Scotland.