‘Anti-landlord legislation’ costing Scotland thousands of new homes

'Anti-landlord legislation' costing Scotland thousands of new homes

Jonathon Ivory

Up to ten developers have said they will stop building homes in Scotland due to its “anti-landlord legislation”, according to reports.

Jonathon Ivory, chief investment officer at the developer Packaged Living, has told The Times that his company would not invest any money north of the border.

Nine other firm identifiers by industry insiders declined to be named. One source said this meant that “thousands” of homes would not be built.

“We aren’t investing in Scotland right now due to the continued presence of anti-landlord legislation,” Mr Ivory said.

An industry source said that a culmination of the new Housing Bill, cladding legislation and rent caps had led to the housing sector becoming “fairly depressed”.

“That applies to newbuilds as much as making existing stock available for rent,” they said. “Investors deciding Scotland is not a safe bet and deciding to back away when we are facing a housing emergency clearly shows the Scottish Government is getting something badly wrong.”

Jane Wood, chief executive of Homes for Scotland, said there was a shortfall of more than 100,000 homes on the market. She said that the housing bill “fails to address the fundamental issue of chronic undersupply” and the Scottish Government’s policies were hampering new homes coming onto the market.

“Rather than using the same tired response blaming Westminster, Brexit and cost price inflation, the Scottish Government must pull the levers that it has at its disposal to encourage and facilitate home building rather than frustrating and delaying it,” Ms Wood said.

Patrick Harvie, the co-leader of the Scottish Greens and the tenants’ rights minister, recently published a new housing bill which brings forward proposals for rent control areas although that is unlikely to make its way through Holyrood until next year.

“A fairer, well-managed private rented sector is in the interest of both tenants and responsible landlords,” Mr Harvie said.

“Our housing bill includes a package of important reforms to the rented sector that aim to improve affordability and strengthen tenants’ rights. This includes the introduction of an effective system of rent controls in the private rent sector, which will improve affordability for tenants while recognising the importance of landlords investing in property quality.

“Our European neighbours have shown that rent control can be compatible with ongoing investment. We will continue to engage with stakeholders from across the sector on delivering our commitment to introducing a longer-term system of rent controls for Scotland.”

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