Officers concerned about proposals to reform the possessions process


Daryl McIntosh

Officers have expressed concern over proposed reforms to the possession process in Scotland, which they say could negatively impact the rental sector north of the border.

Propertymark questioned whether the intention of proposed reforms to the possession process in Scotland was to strengthen homelessness protections for tenants struggling to pay their rent or simply to delay it by tripping up landlords.

A Scottish Government and COSLA consultation proposes making temporary pre-action protocols permanent which owners must follow before starting possession proceedings. They were introduced during the pandemic as additional protection for tenants who fell into rent arrears as a result.

In its response, Propertymark questions the motive and timing in the absence of a full analysis of the effectiveness of the protocols and a commitment to reintroduce financial support for tenants.

Daryl McIntosh, Propertymark’s policy manager for UK devolved nations, commented: “Most agents and landlords follow these protocols anyway and enshrining them in law has the potential to become a stick to beat them. if a possession case is brought to the first level court. .

“At this point, there is a real danger that judgments will be made on whether landlords have followed protocols correctly rather than whether they have attempted meaningful engagement with their tenants to agree to a way forward.

“No analysis of the success or otherwise of the pre-action protocols has been published.

“Until we see this evidence and without further financial assistance for tenants, we are concerned that making these temporary requirements permanent will only stumble landlords and delay the process instead of benefiting and supporting tenants. .”

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