Scotland’s home rental nightmare
Since the establishment of a Scottish government in 1999, the number of people living in rented accommodation has tripled – limiting the number of potential home buyers.
After years of campaigning for an independent government, Scotland finally established its own parliament in 1999 in Hollyrood, Edinburgh. The move was originally seen as a way for Scottish people to move away from English politics and prove that the country could function without the support of its bigger brother.
While there have arguably been many successes for the Scots in this period of transition, in the last 17 years there has been one area in which the new government has failed to impress – and that’s housing.
While the living cost and wage gap is an issue that threatens the whole of the UK, new figures from the Scottish Household Survey have shown a shocking increase in the number of people living in rented homes, almost triple the amount since the new parliament was inaugurated.
The survey has determined that one in seven households in Scotland is paying rent to private landlords; a staggering 14% of all homes versus 5% in 1999. Housing charities and property selling experts have been quick to urge the government to push through reforms to slow down the trend, by making the housing market more flexible and trustworthy for those looking to purchase their first homes.
The housing charity Shelter Scotland is pushing for a restructuring of the rental system, by advising poorly performing landlords on how to improve their practices; and ensuring that landlords who frequently ignore the laws and the rights of their tenants are removed from the register altogether.
Describing the worrying trend, spokesman Adam Lang said: “[…] this growth, along with major changes to the type of people now renting privately, meant reform of the sector was vital. Shelter Scotland has been spearheading the push for reform.”
He added: “Progressive and far-reaching changes in the laws on private renting – such as the new private tenancy – are a big step forward.”
With a growing number of young families forced to continue renting as opposed to saving for a deposit, the number of potential buyers in the marketplace is becoming limited – making it harder for those looking for a fast house sale to find a suitable procurer.
In these situations however, there are always secure property buyers who are willing to purchase any home for cash, regardless of market conditions and without the long wait associated with the traditional estate agency route.