2024–2029 Our five-year strategy

One housing system · Part of the solution · Renting as a choice

Unite

Working together

Representing our members and being regarded as the voice of letting is central to our mission to support and enable landlords and letting agents to provide the best homes. Creating homes for all relies on us investing in, informing and educating the housing sector.

Our lobbying work will focus on representing the interests of our members and making sure that our voice is heard
by our policymakers.

Our online and social media presence will be enhanced to promote our vision of one housing system and our campaigning will respond to the Scottish Government’s vision for housing 2040.

Our continued investment in campaigning and training will ensure that best practice can be employed by all, as well as encouraging everyone to strive towards excellence in housing Scotland’s people.

Part of one housing system

Our strategic objectives are set out in the context of the Scottish Government’s ‘Housing to 2040’ and their PRS strategy

A well-functioning housing system

The government believes that:

  • Government policy (e.g. taxes and subsidies) should promote house price stability to help underpin Scotland’s standard of living and productivity
  • Everybody should be able to save for the future (as well as be secure in their home and make significant changes to it) whether they rent or own
  • The housing market should supply high quality homes for living in, not promote the use of houses as a store of wealth
  • Housing provision should be informed by whole life economic costs and benefits and help to address inequalities in wealth, health, and education

Our response

The PRS generates wealth that feeds back into the economy. Properties are utilised as homes, not as store houses for wealth and supply tax income to the government. Standards of living improve when people have secure tenancies and homes. The PRS can deliver stable rents which should cover landlord’s outgoings and risk.

To ensure sufficient supply of high-quality homes we must have legislation which is not overly burdensome to landlords and does not act as a barrier or disincentive to investment and is properly enforced.

The PRS can provide housing to suit a variety of income levels and provides flexibility and choice to the housing economy, which particularly suits young people who often choose to move home more frequently and at short notice. To allow those who need finanicial support to sustain tenancies, we need a benefits system that ensures public money provided to cover housing costs is used for that purpose.

High quality, sustainable homes

The government believes that:

  • Space and quality standards should be set specifically to improve and protect quality of living across all tenures
  • Government policy should promote greater competition (including SMEs) in the building sector and broader availability of usable land to reduce prices and improve building quality
  • All tenures should apply the same high quality and safety standards and levels of consumer protection
  • New homes for sale should be built to high standards, defects should be identified and remedied
  • Decisions around the quality, location and utilisation of stock and new build should be ambitious in promoting Scotland’s energy security, tackling climate change, and preserving biodiversity

Our response

Landlords will be proactive in maintenance and focused on safety. They will work closely with other owners to undertake common repairs and maintenance.

Fair legislation which is not overly burdensome to landlords and does not act as a barrier or disincentive to investment is key. Common standards across the entire rented sector should be the goal.

Sustainable communities

The government believes that:

  • New housing and the required community resources should only be put in place where they help to create safer, stronger, sustainable, and integrated communities
  • Government should promote fully functioning communities which are physically, digitally, culturally, and economically connected within a coherent geographical region
  • Local communities should be empowered to respond to housing need in their areas as part of a coherent regional economic approach (creating and maintaining jobs) and supported by the provision of local infrastructure

Our response

The PRS can and does provide homes for diverse communities and is a sustainable solution as part of one housing system. Good working relationships between landlord and tenant are essential to strong communities, as is the PRS being a good neighbour.

Homes that meet people’s needs

The government believes that:

  • Housing and the housing market should be highly flexible to enable people to meet their changing needs, especially those of an ageing population (accessibility
    and adaptations)
  • Government should ensure that there are affordable housing options for households at all income levels

Our response

The PRS must provide a stable volume of properties in the sector where supply and demand are well matched which creates affordable homes. Private renting is the most flexible housing tenure as it allows tenants to move without waiting lists to secure accommodation, and to leave at short notice. It is therefore an essential component of a housing system which aspires to enable people to meet their changing needs.

In order to achieve this, the government must increase investment in the sector to provide more private and social housing. The Scottish Government has ensured low cost and quick access to justice to resolve any problems so that the sector is safe and legal – meeting people’s needs.

The objectives below demonstrate how these priorities will be incorporated into SAL’s strategic planning. Performance indictors will be measured and monitored on a regular basis.

Well-managed homes

We are working towards:

  • A consumer focused PRS that functions well as part of one housing system
  • A safe, legal, and appropriately regulated sector

    Well-maintained homes

    We want to achieve:

    • Safe and legally compliant homes
    • Common standards across the entire rented sector
    • PRS being seen as a positive neighbour
    • Landlords undertaking proactive maintenance and upgrading work to create and maintain comfortable homes
    • Landlords working proactively in conjunction with other owners to undertake common repairs and maintenance
    • Homes that are energy efficient and fit for a modern age
    • Proactive empty home management

    Sustainable for all

    We want to achieve:

    • Affordable homes for everyone
    • Stable rents which cover landlords’ outgoings and risk
    • Accessible homes that meet the demands of an ageing population
    • Sustainable landlord and agent businesses
    • The PRS being seen as an attractive form of investment to create much needed homes
    • A stable volume of properties in the sector where supply and demand are well matched and empty homes avoided
    • Fair legislation which does not act as a barrier or disincentive to investment
    • Low cost, quick and accessible access to justice to resolve disputes
    • A benefits system which ensures that
      public money provided to cover housing costs is used for that purpose and allows those who need financial support to secure and sustain tenancies

    Being a member of SAL is invaluable and does not only allow us to keep up to date with all new legislation but we view SAL as our man/woman in our corner should we ever need one.

    Michael Annandale

    moo-let.com, SAL letting agent member

    So good having the support of SAL. Staff are always quick to respond to any questions.

    Michelle Gilmour

    SAL landlord member