Private tenancies bill set for Parliamentary debate

Margaret Burgess
Margaret Burgess

Legislation which will modernise the private rented sector (PRS) will enter Stage Three of the Parliamentary process this afternoon.

The Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill forms a key part of the Scottish Government’s strategy to grow and improve the private rented sector.

Key changes include the creation of simpler tenancies, an end to ‘no fault’ tenancies, and the introduction of rent pressure zones. The new legislation will offer stability and security to the 700,000 tenants who call the private rented sector home and ensure predictability over rent increases which can only be once a year.

The Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) published a briefing note of the parliamentary scrutiny of the Bill last week.

Ahead of the Stage Three debate, housing minister Margaret Burgess visited homelessness project Trust in Fife to present the organisation with the Crisis Private Renting Champions award, which rewards grassroots projects that aim to create lasting and high quality tenancies for those at risk of homelessness.

Trust in Fife runs a deposit guarantee and tenancy share project, enabling young homeless people into safe and secure private tenancies.

Mrs Burgess said: “This bill is vital to achieve our aim of creating a sustainable, long-term solution to addressing housing need and affordability. We want to provide a modern tenancy that reflects the changes to the private rented sector in recent years delivered by better, more professional sector, and this bill is absolutely key to achieving that.

“Trust in Fife is an excellent example of best practice in the Private Rented Sector, and I’m delighted to present them with this award.”

Ann Landel, director of Crisis Scotland, said: “Trust in Fife have been awarded the title 2016 PRS Champions for Scotland due to their excellent work on both the Keyfund and tenancy share project. They are the first ever recipients in Scotland and join the six current Crisis private renting champions across the UK.”

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