The Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee is seeking views in the general principles of the 'Housing (Scotland) Bill 2014 that is going to be introduced later in the year. Please see full request here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/71398.aspx
This bill includes major changes that will affect the way the Private Rented Sector does business in Scotland. We welcome the vast majority of the changes proposed. We are particularly pleased to see the inclusion of the following:
• The regulation of letting agents in Scotland, including a system for redressing. We truly believe in compliance and very high standards. Regulation will simply protect landlords and tenants from many unprofessional letting agents that currently trade freely.
• Transfer of most legal cases of the Private Rented Sector from the Sherif Courts to the First Tier Tribunals. We enjoy a very trouble-free letting business in Fife, however we know from our colleagues round Scotland about the impracticalities of the Sherif Court system.
Furthermore we are very pleased to see how some of the bodies we belong to, including SAL (Scottish Association of Landlords), and CLA (Council of Letting Agents –Scotland-), which we have played a key part in the initial consultation period that was conducted in 2013 and early 2014. SAL & CLA brief paper about this bill here: https://www.scottishlandlords.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=oUpXwDBW7Lk%3d & tabid=432
Now it is your opportunity to be heard. It is vital that you put forward your thoughts, what you agree or disagree, before the 28th February 2014.
The provisions in the Bill include proposals for:
- Tacit approval of landlord registration applications - the introduction of a time limit of 12 months for the determination of landlord registration applications.
- Third party reporting rights to the Private Rented Housing Panel - enabling local authorities to report breaches of house condition standards in the PRS to the Private Rented Housing Panel, which enforces the ‘Repairing Standard’ in the sector.
- Further regulation of Letting Agents - to promote high standards of service and levels of professionalism across the country and provide landlords and tenants with easy access to a mechanism that will help to resolve disputes where these arise.
- Private Rented Sector Tribunal - Transferring private rented sector cases from the sheriff courts to the new First- tier Tribunal (which will be created by the Tribunals (Scotland) Bill); ensuring effective and prompt resolution of disputes in the private rented sector. This will reduce the capacity for serious housing disputes to harm the well-being of individuals and families living in the private rented sector.
Information is available from the Scottish Government website: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Built-Environment/Housing/privaterent
If any of these points interests or concerns you, please read / look into it carefully and comment accordingly. We as a leading company of the Private Rented Sector in Fife have already put our opinion forward to the Scottish Government.
Please make sure to submit your opinion to the Scottish Government by Friday 28th of February 2014. Send your response (preferably in Microsoft Word format) to: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you wish you could also send a copy of your response to the Scottish Association of Landlords: email@example.com , so that they can represent your view in the next round of talks. Thank you.