Private rental market focus of major conference

For rent

​New legislation will come into force in December  

24th October 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Sweeping new laws affecting the rights of Scotland’s 760,000 private renters are the main focus of a major conference taking place in Edinburgh tomorrow (Wednesday, 25 October).

Shelter Scotland’s Private Renting Conference brings together local authority housing professionals, third sector organisations, landlords, letting agents and tenants to discuss the implications of the new legislation.

Changes mean that, from December 2017, anyone signing a new tenancy for a private let will sign the new private residential tenancy, all landlord and tenant disputes will be heard in a new specialist tribunal and, from January 2018, all letting agents will be required to register and adhere to a code of practice.

The new tenancy will provide tenants with indefinite security of tenure, subject to the grounds for eviction, meaning an end to no-fault evictions.

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “We are fast approaching a new dawn for all private renters in Scotland which now number around 760,000 people. 

"From December – in just six weeks’ time – new laws will bring unprecedented security of tenure to private renters in Scotland and finally see the end of no-fault evictions.

“With so much going on in private sector housing policy it has never been more important for everyone involved in private renting to get informed, understand their rights and responsibilities and share best practice. Shelter Scotland’s Private Renting Conference provides the ideal platform to do just that.”

Delegates will have a chance to get up to speed with changes and debate the future direction of private rented sector policy.

Dr Jim McCormick, adviser to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in Scotland, will chair the event, with a keynote session from professor Christine Whitehead from the London School of Economics. 

McCormick said: "There is a clear public interest in promoting a healthy private rented sector. JRF's work has shown the modern face of poverty in Scotland includes more young, working households in the private rented sector than in the past.

"Solving poverty means low-income households renting privately need secure and affordable housing options.

“Action on secure tenancies and expansion of affordable housing in Scotland needs to be matched by a UK commitment to unfreeze working-age benefits and scrap waiting days within Universal Credit."