In response to the ongoing cost of living crisis in the UK, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon unleashed a package of emergency measures to defray Scotland’s soaring household expenses, and Scottish landlords are not happy.
Among the slew of measures that Sturgeon introduced in her agenda (which include freezing rail fares until next year, upping anti-poverty benefits like the Scottish Child Payment, and paving the way for a new referendum on Scotland’s independence from the UK), Sturgeon has set forth a rent freeze and eviction moratorium. The rent freeze and eviction ban are effective immediately in both the private and public rental sectors until March of 2023. But even though these measures are temporary, they may wind up doing more harm than good as experts warn that these measures will push landlords out of the rental market altogether.
John Blackwood, of the Scottish Association of Landlords, said that his office was being inundated by landlords wishing to either withdraw their properties from the rental market and sell them outright instead. Blackwood also pointed out that landlords will not be able to afford to host non paying tenants if there is no way to evict them.
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Scotland’s about to have an even bigger affordability crisis on their hands if landlords decide that it’s more cost-effective not to rent out their properties. There’s already a massive housing shortage in Scotland, and the situation could be compounded with less available housing and higher rents if Scotland’s landlords move to sell their rental or keep them empty until the rent freeze ends.
The Welsh government may follow soon with similar rent controls.