Problems ahead for student letting in Scotland?

student letting

The Stage 1 report into the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill (the Bill) from the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee has been published along with their recommendations. Evidence has been taken from various stakeholders in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) and the report and its recommendations were debated in the Scottish Parliament earlierthis month.

The report can be downloaded here.

The Report makes some significant recommendations regarding Student Tenancies. The policy objective behind the Bill is for all tenants in the PRS to have the same security of tenure. However, evidence was taken from stakeholders on potential consequences for those involved in the student let market and the prospect for a reduction in the supply of properties available for let in this sector. The committee indicated that they had “some sympathy” that student lets “operate in a unique way and should be treated as such”.

Whilst it is acknowledged there is a proposed ground for recovery of possession for purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) where a tenant ceases to be a student, the evidence taken from providers of PBSA was that there was a prospect of reduced investment and uncertainty for such operators and potential tenants and this would have a negative effect on both students and investors in the sector.

As such, the recommendations for the Committee are that the Scottish Government:

  • consider options to allow tenancies to be set for agreed terms in the PBSA;
  • give further thought to whether having a uniform private residential tenancy for all tenants suitably takes into account the needs of students and the requirement of appropriate accommodation for that sector.

None of this should be news to the Scottish Government. The uniqueness of and the possible effect on the student let market is something that has been consistently raised by stakeholders throughout the consultations leading to the publishing of the Bill. The question is, is the Scottish Government listening?

For more information or advice, contact our experienced LetLaw team.

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