COMMENT: Why Scotland ought to appeal to extra personal rented sector landlords – not drive them away

By Riccardo Giovanacci, Managing Director of Newton Letting,

In a perfect world, residence possession could be the accepted means for everybody to dwell, with folks having fun with the safety, heat, shelter and sense of belonging that comes with having the ability to shut your individual door behind you.

However this isn’t a perfect world – actually, it typically feels that every passing day makes it much less perfect – and residential possession stays, and can stay, out of the attain of considerable proportions of the inhabitants.

On this real-world situation, through which persevering with lack of housing inventory is stifling residential gross sales, the function of landlords within the personal rented sector [PRS] can solely change into extra vital, since they supply a viable, and important, different for a lot of people and households.

(Picture provided with launch by Blueprint Media)

However within the present local weather, particularly in Scotland, the constructive contribution that the PRS makes to the continuing housing disaster can appear not solely to be ignored, however to be actively denigrated and obstructed.

The trope of the Rogue Landlord is deeply embedded in a substantial amount of present pondering round housing wants and, certainly, it could typically really feel to an goal observer that it’s the most important driver of insurance policies – insurance policies that are pushing rising numbers out of the sector simply on the time when they’re most wanted.

The fact is that the overwhelming majority of gamers within the PRS are properly conscious of, and absolutely on aspect with, the understanding that they will’t deal with the market just like the Wild West, and they’re wholly supportive of cleansing up and regulating the sector.

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So, it’s maybe not unreasonable to suggest some counter-arguments to the notion that landlords are pushing up rents at a prodigious price simply on the time that many tenants are dealing with a really actual and really well-documented cost-of-living disaster.

In actual fact, after I began on this enterprise some 15 years in the past, rents in Scotland weren’t solely very low cost compared to different components of the UK, however had been stagnant for some appreciable time.

Sure, rental will increase had been marginally larger than in England firstly of the yr, however what will not be usually identified is that they had been considerably decrease within the previous six years, so Scotland is simply belatedly catching up.

It must also be famous that Scottish Authorities information exhibits that, in recent times, rental will increase have solely risen at a price similar to inflation, and it might be wholly unreasonable to counsel that this shouldn’t be the case – in spite of everything, no one expects a loaf of bread to value the identical this yr because it did in 2012.

It could possibly be additional argued that, with inflation hovering as it’s now – the newest projections are for 15% – tenants are literally benefitting from a lower in rental prices in actual phrases.

What landlords and agent need to do is be significantly better and way more proactive about explaining to tenants and their consultant organisations the explanations behind will increase, such because the higher prices that they face.

In the meanwhile, many “unintended landlords” from 2008, and others who’re simply fed up with the regulatory burden, are exiting the market, additional lowering the inventory accessible and stoking demand for what stays.

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The one strategy to ease the strain on inventory – and the ensuing hire inflation – is to draw extra landlords into the market, however little, if something, is being completed at political ranges to encourage this. Fairly the reverse – the inclination appears to be to drive them out.

Some measure of tax incentive could be the apparent strategy to stem the haemorrhaging of inventory, however that appears unlikely within the present local weather. Neither is there any actual chance of a return to offsetting mortgage prices in opposition to tax.

Maybe what may appeal to extra entrants to the market is the truth that there are nonetheless some good offers to be completed if individuals are ready to look simply that bit tougher and, in inflationary instances, the PRS is a significantly better guess than conserving depreciating cash within the financial institution.

We have to appeal to property homeowners who should not in it for a fast buck however are extra old-school, and ready to speculate for the long-term.

There are large numbers of people that, for life-style causes, need to hire for lengthy durations within the method of the European mannequin and accountable landlords are completely geared up to satisfy that demand – if solely they’re given the prospect.

For additional data, please contact, Riccardo Giovanacci, Managing Director, Newton Letting, Suite 2.1, 116 Elderslie Road, Glasgow, G3 7AW. T: 0141 378 1770. W: E: [email protected].