Private Tenancies Bill set for Parliament debate

Margaret Burgess
Margaret Burgess

A new bill aimed at strengthening and improving the private rented sector will be debated in parliament today.

The Private Housing (Tenancies) Bill seeks to create simpler tenancies, protecting more than 700,000 people from the prospect of unfair eviction and predictability over rent increases. The bill will provide security and stability to tenants while ensuring the sector is attractive to landlords and investors.

Proposals in the bill include:

  • Improve security for tenants, which means that they cannot be asked to leave their home simply because the tenancy agreement has reached its end date.
  • Comprehensive and robust repossession grounds which will enable a landlord to regain possession of their property in reasonable circumstances.
  • The opportunity for local authorities to implement rent caps in areas where there are excessive increases.
  • A more streamlined system with no confusing pre-tenancy notices and easier-to-understand model tenancy agreement.
  • Housing minister Margaret Burgess said: “This bill is vital in helping to meet Scotland’s housing needs, and providing a modern tenancy that reflects the changes to the private rented sector in recent years.

    “We are committed to ensuring every person in Scotland has a safe and warm place to stay, and achieving a sustainable, long-term solution to addressing housing affordability. The range of measures brought forward under this bill will ensure the sector is better managed, simplified and successful.

    “We want to create a better, more professional private rented sector. This bill is absolutely key to achieving that.”

    The bill forms a key part of the Scottish Government strategy to grow and improve the private rented sector. In response to an action set out in the strategy, ministers set up an independent Tenancy Review Group which recommended a new tenancy. The introduction of the bill follows two full public consultations, which were undertaken as part of the policy development process and received around 10,000 responses.

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