Scotland Policy Conference on Housing

Our Management Team attended an Online Seminar this week to hear how the Scottish Government are working with both Social and Private Landlords in building the framework to deal with the shortage of homes available and the standard of housing stock in Scotland.

It was very encouraging to hear of the long term plans being considered, with both social and private housing being equally as important in these changes. The Speakers provided an insight into the plans for Scottish Housing, which came across as very positive and we look forward to seeing these plans coming into action.  In relation to the private rented sector, we were pleased to hear that more focus is being placed on traditional tenement housing and the problems landlords face in attending to shared repairs and maintenance in these buildings.  Many of our landlords feel the frustration of having to carry out shared repairs to ensure they can secure good tenants for their properties, but are often left with higher expense due to other owners ignoring requests to pay their share of these costs.  The RICS Working Group have already made recommendations to bring in requirements for Compulsory Building Inspections every 5 years, An Owners Association to be established for each tenement as well putting in place Building Reserve Funds, similar to how more modern Factored developments are maintained.  We’re keen to see these recommendations come to fruition.

The Energy Savings Trust reminded us all that all property owners and tenants can obtain free personalised advice in making their homes more energy efficient which could lead to financial support if taking forward the advice.  They offer a single referral into all Schemes that could be applicable to the home and invite contact via their website.

Lastly, it was great to hear that a recent survey of private rented sector tenants opinion of their homes, which highlighted that there is a broad level of satisfaction across this sector, indicating that landlords have listened and supported their tenants through the recent difficult times.  It also highlights that the majority of private landlords are keen to adhere to the repairing standards to ensure their properties remain safe and well maintained for their tenants, which is exactly what we see in our day to day involvement with our landlords and tenants.

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