ESPC's thoughts on the recent call by Shelter for more legislation in the lettings market

The following letter was prepared by ESPC and published by the Scotsman newspaper in response to the issues raised by Shelter in regards to regulation of the Scottish lettings market.

Letter to Editor

7 May 2013

Dear Sir,

Shelter is right to highlight the need to tackle irresponsible letting agents and there is clearly a need for a better regulatory environment for the private rented sector.

However, the Scottish Government should also look at regulations that already exist, but are not currently being enforced adequately, in addition to any new rules.

For existing programmes like the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, tenant information packs and others to work effectively, they require significant promotion to ensure all landlords are aware of the scheme and then rigorous enforcement to ensure compliance.  If the Scottish Government commits to actively policing the sector in tandem with any new rules, ‘rogue’ letting agents described by Shelter should disappear.

Over the last ten years, the private rented sector has more than doubled its share of the total housing stock in Scotland, rising from 5% to 11%.  As the private rented sector plays an ever-increasing role in meeting Scotland’s housing needs, the vast majority of landlords are committed to providing an exceptional level of service to tenants.

Yours faithfully,

Malcolm Cannon

Chief Executive, ESPC Lettings

ESPC George Street, Edinburgh