Scottish residential tenants are generally happy with the PRS property mark

Taylor Scott International News

Over 35% of tenants in Scotland have lived in their current home for longer than a year with 10% living longer than three years, a new survey has found. The poll by Lettingweb, described as the largest ever undertaken in Scotland, shows that 88% of tenants believed they had been treated fairly during their current tenancy. It also found that 86% reported that there had been no increase in rent during their tenancy, with over 90% believing the frequency of rent reviews being reasonable in their experience. Almost 95% had never been asked to leave a tenancy for an unexplained or unreasonable reason but tenants are concerned by the lack of supply of properties to let with only 42% being confident of finding another suitable home if they had to. The firm says that the overall picture is in stark contrast to moves in the Scottish Parliament to control rents. It indicates that tenants welcome the flexibility of the private rented sector (PRS), whilst appreciating that they have considerable security of tenure and are generally able to stay as long as they want. That accords with a long term growth in the Scottish PRS, which has doubled in size over the past decade, with significant increases in the numbers of prospective tenants looking for affordable, high quality property to let. ‘This is a myth buster report as it destroys many preconceptions of the sector. The overwhelming picture is that rents are unlikely to rise during leases and that landlords treat their tenants well. The private rented sector can be proud of their ability to supply good property at a price tenants are willing to pay, and increases have been less than inflation for a period of over eight years,’ said Dan Cookson, head of research at Lettingweb. ‘The stand out figure for me is that only 42% of tenants are confident of finding alternative rented accommodation if they had to. That’s a consequence of limited supply, and more needs to be done to bring greater investment into the sector to meet that demand, and widen confidence that alternatives are available,’ he explained. ‘Our market reports indicate that the time taken to re-let properties at the end of each lease are very short indeed. The market is demanding an expansion of the private rented sector. Government needs to respond by creating conditions for increased supply to come forward,’ he added. According to Malcolm Warrack, chairman of Letscotland, it is a significant survey and as the Scottish Government moves towards legislating for a new type of tenancy agreement for use in the private rented sector, they must listen to the voices of tenants, who are overwhelmingly well served by landlords and letting agents. ‘The challenge must be to implement change in a way which increases the supply of rented accommodation reaching the market. Any reforms brought forward must not lead to reductions… Continue reading →

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