Minister for Housing and Welfare
This Strategy sets out the Scottish Government's vision and strategic aims for the private rented sector ( PRS). We want to work with our partners to further develop a sector that can deliver for Scotland's people and communities by providing high quality homes.
The private rented sector has always catered for a broad range of tenants. Recently, there has been growth in the number of younger people, including those with families, calling the PRS their home.
Ensuring that the sector can meet the needs of all households renting from private landlords, or seeking private rented accommodation, is a key theme in the Strategy.
Publication of this Strategy, the first focused on the PRS since devolution, was a commitment made in 'Homes Fit for the 21st Century', the Scottish Government's Strategy and Action Plan for Housing 2011-2020.
Working with our colleagues on the Scottish Private Rented Sector Strategy Group, chaired by Professor Douglas Robertson, we launched a consultation on a draft Strategy in 2012. I was delighted to see the level of interest in this policy area and the large number of informative and helpful contributions we received. All of these views and ideas have helped inform the Strategy.
The Strategy sets out an ambitious agenda, aimed at improving management standards and quality of service for tenants and prospective tenants, as well as enabling growth and investment in existing and new private rented stock.
The key actions in the Strategy will build on achievements to date, including the recent introduction of Tenancy Deposit Schemes to Scotland and clarification of the law on charging tenants premium payments.
We want to make the private rented sector in Scotland an attractive and affordable housing option for anyone who wishes to live in it. The flexibility and affordability it can offer a range of households is a key strength.
To ensure standards continue to rise, the Scottish Government is determined to support the development of a more targeted and effective regulatory framework. We want to work with good, professional landlords to help them prosper, but we are determined to tackle the practices of landlords who do damage to the image of the sector and undermine the cohesion of communities.
Just as the Scottish Government wants to set out a national vision for the sector, tenants have a role to play in improving the sector at a local level, by being well informed consumers helping to drive up the quality of service, as well as knowing their rights and responsibilities.
As the Minister for Housing and Welfare, I recognise the impact of the UK Government's Welfare Reforms on Scotland in general, and specifically the PRS. The Scottish Government will work with partners to do what it can within the current constitutional framework to minimise the negative impacts of these reforms.
Email: Yvonne Gavan