Landlords And Renters Weigh In On Potential Changes With Private Renting
The Scottish Government is launching a consultation about a proposal seeking to strike out a legal provision called “no-fault repossession” clause allowing landlords to take possession of a rented property once the lease agreement expires.
Other highlights of the proposal are: the possibility of rent control and the adjustment of period on when to issue a notice to quit. Currently, landlords and tenants must give a notice to quit between 28 to 40 days. Under the amendments, the period would be determined based on how long a tenant has been staying on the real estate. The longer the stay, the longer the period.
4 weeks’ notice should be given tenants who have been renting the property for six months or less; 8 weeks for those occupying the space for 6 months to 2 years; 12 weeks for tenants of between 2 years to 5 years; and 16 weeks for occupants of 5 years and above.
Unwanted tenants, such as those who missed payment of 3 months’ rent, exhibits anti-social behavior, or breached the lease agreement will only be given 28 days notice to quit, regardless of his length of stay in the houses.
Housing Minister Margaret Burgess launched the reform program, and explained that the program ultimately seeks to give more security to tenants.
Unsurprisingly, housing charities and tenants’ groups are ecstatic about the new proposals, while landlord groups are afraid that the changes would hit their income streams.
One representative from the Scottish Association of Landlords, John Blackwood, explained in a statement that private landlords renting properties to students would feel the brunt of the weight of the changes.
He discussed that these landlords usually rent out the properties to festival goers during the Summer once the students’ lease expire. So in the event that renters would still be given the right to take possession of the houses even after their lease is up, landlords would be robbed of the chance to rent out the property to other people and greatly minimize their chances of making a profit.
Aside from that, they also argued that if ever rent control would be implemented in Scotland, landlords may be forced to sell their properties or, worse, invest their money somewhere else where the margin for profit is greater.
On the other side of the pond, are renters and renters’ groups who are pushing for the proposals’ approval.
Activists are saying that most of time renters don’t have an easy time making prompt payments to landlords because of the tight economy, and if landlords are allowed to take possession of the rented houses immediately, like what’s happening right now, this will only force more people and families into homelessness which only adds up to the problem.
Renters are also saying that these changes would relieve them some stress in finding houses for rent once the lease is up. If you think about it, 28 days isn’t enough time to get a new apartment, especially when you’re living in the city. Not only will you have to consider the space and amenities of the place, you’d also have to think hard if you can afford paying for it on a monthly basis and if it’s located near work.
To add to the stress of finding a new houses for rent, there are instances where landlords would badger renters every day, reminding them to get out of the house, once their lease agreement is coming to an end.
These things in consideration, I believe that it’s time the government intervenes, with the relationship of renters and landlords, to prevent these kinds of incidents from occurring. It’s already hard enough trying to make ends meet in this kind of economy, and if you put people and families out to the streets you’re just making the housing problem worse just because of wanting to earn more.
However, in placing regulatory measures, the government shouldn’t restrict private landlords to the point where it is almost impossible for them to make a living out of property investment. We’re all just trying to get by in life at the end of the day.