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Firm foundations in private renting?

This one-day conference, held in Edinburgh on 27 August 2008, brought together landlords and letting agents, local authority and voluntary sector staff to look at recent changes and future plans for the private rented sector in Scotland.

Morning plenary session – What is the future for private renting?

John Blackwood, Director, Scottish Association of Landlords, chaired the event and the morning plenary session focused on the wider context for private renting and the Government’s planned review of the sector. Stewart Maxwell MSP, Minister for Communities and Sport, gave the first presentation, presenting the Government’s position on reform of the private rented sector.

The Minister was followed by Graeme Brown, Director, Shelter Scotland, who looked at how effective recent reform has been in protecting vulnerable tenants. The next presentation was given by David Kendall, Regional Representative, National Landlords Association Scotland, who gave a professional landlord’s perspective about the balance that needs to be struck between ensuring tenants have appropriate rights that they can enforce, and keeping regulation at a manageable level for landlords.

You can download their presentations here:

What is the future for private renting?
Stewart Maxwell MSP, Minister for Communities and Sport

Shelter's perspective
Graeme Brown, Director, Shelter Scotland

Getting the balance right between tenant and landlord
David Kendall, Regional Representative, National Landlords Association Scotland

Morning workshop sessions

Delegates were given a choice of four workshops as follows:

The Private Rented Housing Panel one year on
Robert Buchan, Private Rented Housing Panel

Enforcing landlord registration
Natalie Sutherland, Arneil Johnston

How will Landlord Accreditation Scotland work?
Phil Rowsby & Elspeth Boyle, Landlord Accreditation Scotland

HMOs - licensing and planning
Alistair Somerville & Andrew Sikes, City of Edinburgh Council

Afternoon plenary session – The private ‘social’ landlord?

The afternoon presentations looked in more detail at Government proposals that private landlords should play a greater role in housing people who apply to local authorities as homeless. Anna Donald from The Scottish Government’s Homelessness Team outlined the proposed changes to allow local authorities to discharge their duty to homeless households into the private rented sector.

Drew McFarlane-Slack, Regional Manager, Scottish Rural Property & Business Association, looked at these proposals from the perspective of landlords and, in particular, rural landlords.

Finally, Kirsty Morrison, Strategy & Research Manager, City of Edinburgh Council, gave a response to the proposals from a local authority viewpoint.

You can download their presentations here:

Using the private rented sector
Anna Donald, Homelessness Team, The Scottish Government

The private 'social' landlord
Drew McFarlane-Slack, Regional Manager, Scottish Rural Property & Business Association

Edinburgh City Council's use of the private sector
Kirsty Morrison, Strategy & Research Manager, City of Edinburgh Council

Afternoon workshop sessions

There were four options for delegates to select from as follows:

Security of tenure for homeless households
Rosemary Brotchie, Shelter Scotland

Future prospects for Rent Deposit Guarantee Schemes
Becky Evans, Cyrenians

Working with private landlords – a new partnership?
Steve Bentley, Falkirk Council

Local Housing Allowance
Peter Meehan, Consultant

Please note that a link to Shelter’s response to The Scottish Government’s consultation on discharge of duty using the private rented sector will be available here once it is submitted on 19 September.