Abandonment a problem for almost half of Scottish landlords

Richard Lambert
Richard Lambert

Almost half of private landlords in Scotland have had one of their properties abandoned by tenants, according to a UK landlord association.

Abandonment occurs when a tenant moves out of a property before the tenancy has ended, without informing their landlord.

Statistics from the National Landlord Association (NLA) suggest that this problem has occurred to 48 per cent of Scottish landlords, more than the average UK wide figure of 36 per cent.

The NLA said: “The issue can be costly as it often occurs when outstanding rent is owed. However, the tenant still has a legal right to return and take up residence at any time and it is a criminal offence for landlords to do anything to prevent the continuation of the tenancy.

The only option for a landlord is to go through the legal process for regaining possession of an abandoned property which can take months.”

Landlords in the North East of England have had property abandoned more than anywhere else across the UK, with almost six in ten (58 per cent) having experienced the problem. Just over half (51 per cent) of landlords in the North have also experienced the issue.

At the other end of the scale, three in ten (31 per cent) landlords in the South West of England said they have had a property abandoned before – the lowest proportion across the UK – with a third (33 per cent) of London landlords having had to deal with the problem.

Richard Lambert, CEO of the NLA, said many people will be shocked by just how common the problem is.

He said: “The process of recovering an abandoned property is too long, frustrating, and costly for landlords at the moment.”

Mr Lambert added: “We’ve long argued that councils should be able to hold on to the money they make when carrying out landlord prosecutions as this better enables them to implement long-term enforcement strategies to tackle the rogues.”

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