MSP uses landlord event to highlight issues in Scottish housing market

Graham Simpson MSP

Graham Simpson MSP used his address at the Scottish Association of Landlords’ annual conference and exhibition to highlight issues in Scottish housing market.

National Landlord Day is the largest landlord conference in the UK and takes place each November.

The Central Scotland MSP said that while many changes to the private rented sector are to be welcomed, problems still exist with a lack of enforcement of rogue landlords.

Mr Simpson said: “There has been much change in the private rented sector under the current Scottish Government and plenty of this has been welcome. But some areas still have teething problems. There is a pervading problem of lack of enforcement across the board. I have looked extensively into the First Tier Tribunal and how it handles complaints. I despair for any member of the public who has to navigate this system for themselves.

“We also need to ensure that those people who are flouting the rules are punished. Rogue operators across the sector – landlords, letting agents, factors – are all giving the industry a bad name and it is right that they should be brought to justice. Rogue operators are in the minority and this is due to the professionalisation of the sector. Professionalisation is good for tenants but is changing the face of landlords. Landlords that are left may well be more interested in changes in the sector and have better relationships with letting agents and tenants.”

He added: “Tenement maintenance continues to be a huge problem across Scotland and affects all tenures. I really feel we are sitting on a building maintenance cliff edge unless we act. It hits the news when bits fall off buildings and hit people, or narrowly miss them.”

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