Committee supports principles of Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill

14.01.2016

The Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee has today supported the general principles of a Bill that aims to introduce a new single tenancy for the private rented sector and improve security of tenure for tenants while providing appropriate safeguards for landlords, lenders and investors.

In its Stage 1 report published today, the Committee has made a number of recommendations aimed at improving the Bill, based upon the balance of evidence received.   

These include: asking the Scottish Government to give further consideration to the balance between mandatory and discretionary grounds for the removal of a tenant; to look at options for allowing Purpose Built Student Accommodation to set tenancies for agreed terms; to consider a longer period to repay rent arrears; to consider whether penalties to deter landlords from terminating tenancies falsely are sufficient;  and  to bring forward suitable amendments at Stage 2 to allow those in abusive relationships to leave a tenancy without facing financial penalties. 

Committee Convener Jim Eadie MSP said: 

“The need for good quality affordable housing is clear and  is an issue that affect individuals, families and communities right across Scotland. 

“The Scottish Government has sought to introduce a Bill that strikes an appropriate balance between the rights of tenants and the rights of landlords, taking account of changes to the housing market and housing provision in recent times. 

“It is the Committee’s view that this balance has been largely achieved.  However we call on the Government to consider amendments at the Stage 2 process to ensure that the end result is one which takes in to account the legitimate issues raised in our evidence taking sessions.”

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