Landlords flock to membership bodies to understand new rules

Scotland’s largest landlord organisation has reported a sharp surge in membership as large and small scale landlords seek to understand and implement the raft of new regulations governing the private rented sector (PRS).

SAL says membership numbers are up almost 20% in 12 months with rises amongst letting agents, individual landlords and businesses.

The organisation attributes the growth to the new regulations brought in to regulate the PRS in Scotland, with landlords and letting agents seeking to ensure they comply to allow them to provide high quality homes.

Since 2016, a raft of new regulations has been brought in for the PRS in Scotland governing areas such as:

  • deposit protection
  • electrical safety
  • water safety
  • new tenancy agreements for landlords
  • mandatory training and registration for letting agents.

As part of its membership, SAL provides:

  • a helpline where landlords and letting agents can ask questions and get advice
  • regular local branch meetings across Scotland to hear about changes with the opportunity to ask questions of experts
  • extensive downloadable resources which comply with the new rules
  • political and media engagement to promote the interests of responsible landlords
  • discounts to members to help them cut the costs of complying with regulations.

John Blackwood, chief executive of SAL, said: “In the past few years, we have seen new regulations for the PRS covering electrical safety, water safety, deposit protection and the registration and training of letting agents.  This is in addition to the private residential tenancy which came in to force for all new lets in December 2017.

“As a result, we have seen membership increase, an increase in calls to our helpline, full rooms at our regular branch meetings, sold out training sessions and a record number of downloads of the resources we provide on our website. We hope that this activity will ensure that landlords and letting agents are fully up to date with changes to the rules and are able to continue to provide high quality accommodation across Scotland.”