The Nationwide Foundation has commissioned a three-year study that will learn from the experiences of households living in and landlords operating in the private rented sector in Scotland. The learning will help to shape further changes needed to support the Scottish approach and it will also make the case for modernisation to the private rented sector in other parts of the UK.
Indigo House Group, a housing and social inclusion consultancy, will undertake widescale quantitative and qualitative research. This will look at whether changes to the tenancy regime in Scotland are creating security of tenure, protecting against excessive rent increases and empowering tenants. It will also gather the perspectives of landlords, local authorities and advice agencies on how the new regulations are working.
Two recent changes represent significant transformation to Scottish private rented sector legislation:
• Private Residential Tenancy: The Private Residential Tenancy introduced in 2017 means that there are no fixed terms to tenancies, landlords cannot use no-fault evictions and rents can only increase once per year.
• First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (housing and property chamber): In the last two years, the tribunal’s remit has increased to deal with more disputes in the sector, such as tenancy terms, evictions and lettings agents.
Robustly reviewing the changes provides a huge opportunity to get to the heart of security of tenure, affordability and consumer power in the private rented sector.
The Nationwide Foundation believes that the evidence from the experience in Scotland should be used to make further improvements to the Scottish private rented sector, as well as providing essential insight to inform policymaking in other areas of the UK.
An advisory group will be established in Scotland by Indigo House Group, with the work commencing in the summer of 2019.