SPF fears rent freeze could make housing challenges ‘much worse’

David Melhuish

THE Scottish Property Federation (SPF) has highlighted ‘concerns’ around the recently published Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Bill.

SPF Director David Melhuish said that Scotland faces a ‘chronic undersupply’ of rental housing, and this legislation will make this situation ‘much worse’.

He added, “There is a pipeline of new rented private accommodation estimated to be £3.5bn earmarked for Scotland. This could deliver thousands of new high-quality and energy efficient homes for renters. We fear this legislation will now undermine the likelihood of many of these complex and capital-intensive projects actually being delivered any time soon.

“Housing providers are not responsible for the cost-of-living crisis but have been singled out by the Scottish Government’s proposals that miss the critical need to attract new investment to the sector. The only way that pressure will be reduced on the rented sector in Scotland is by increasing the supply of new, well maintained and energy efficient homes for rent.

“New housing must become the policy priority, not blunt instruments singling out landlords, many of whom work hard to support their tenants.

“We call on the Scottish Government to recognise the vital contribution that the rented sector makes to communities across Scotland and to support those that are looking to fund and develop new homes here. Support must now be offered to housing providers affected by any withdrawal of rent resulting from the proposed moratorium, they too are impacted by the upwards pressure on costs and rising interest rates.”