Council tax reform ‘should encourage PRS investment’
A commission looking at alternatives to the council tax should tackle “flaws” in the system to encourage more investment in the private rented sector, according to representatives of landlords.
The Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) will today tell the Commission on Local Tax reform that a replacement for the council tax in Scotland must help provide better value for tenants as well as fair treatment for landlords.
SAL has welcomed the detailed examination of the possibility of reform of the council tax system in Scotland but urged the commission to tackle key problems and encourage landlords to invest in their properties to increase value for money for tenants. In particular, SAL called for four key reforms:
John Blackwood, chief executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords, who will give oral evidence to the commission today said: “We have no fixed view concerning what form of local tax should replace the council tax but we do believe this is an opportunity to fix flaws in the current system.
“In particular, we feel there are disincentives which mean landlords might be dissuaded from investing in upgrades or non-emergency repairs because of the lack of council tax discounts available to other groups. By ending these practices, landlords would be able to invest more easily in their properties and provide a better service for tenants.
“A strong Private Rented Sector providing value for money for tenants is not only of benefit for landlords and our customers but also to the local authority by adding to the high-quality housing stock in a given area. I look forward to discussing these points with commission members in more detail today and hope they will take them on-board in their final report.”