SPF says rent freeze will ‘do nothing’ to address housing affordability issues

David Melhuish

THE Scottish Property Federation (SPF) has said the Scottish Government’s decision to freeze rent for public and private residential homes deals will ‘do nothing’ to address the wider challenges of supplying enough homes for people.

Responding to the programme for government, SPF director David Melhuish said, “If anything, this policy threatens to derail efforts to improve the supply of new, purpose-built homes for rent as investors pause to ask what else the Scottish Government might be prepared to do. Private rental sector providers have endured years of restrictive measures that have led to the sector losing homes for rent, with both renters and providers forced into using a tribunal system that is simply overrun.

“We fear there will be a further loss of homes in the Scottish private rented sector and the long-term consequences on investment in the nascent build to rent sector. Already since this announcement we are aware of a multi-million pound investment that has been put on pause.

“We call on the Scottish Government to ensure there is support for affected property owners, who are also facing significant cost increases. We also need to see meaningful action to boost all-tenure housing supply, which is the only sustainable solution to addressing upward pressure on rents.”