Housing minister set to launch new lettings strategy

New proposals for a strategy on private renting are due to be unveiled today in Scotland.

Scottish housing minister Keith Brown is due to launch it at a conference, New beginnings for private renting in Scotland, being held in Glasgow and organised by Shelter.

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “The private rented sector in Scotland offers greater flexibility compared to home ownership and is an attractive choice for many individuals and families. It is particularly well-suited to Scotland’s economic needs and is poised to make a much greater contribution to meeting our housing needs.

“Scotland can lead the UK by building a 21st-century private rented sector based on the foundations of security, fairness and affordability.”

Professor Felix Schindler from the Centre for European Economic Research, who will also speak at the conference, is urging that Scotland should follow the lead of some European states.

He said: “In Germany more people rent than own their own homes. Renting is seen as a normal and long-term choice, with landlords equally seeing investment in rented property as a long-term investment.

“Tenancies are usually for unlimited time periods, normally determined by the tenant, and where landlords wish to evict their tenants they must prove legitimate reasons. There is also strict regulation against prohibitive rent increases and rent levels.

“Germany shows that regulation and a thriving rental sector can go hand-in-hand.”