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The case for greater security for private tenants in Scotland

By: Shelter Scotland  Published: September 2013

Shelter Scotland believes that there is strong case for enhancing security of tenure in Scotland's private rented sector. This paper sets out why we think this is necessary and how it could be achieved.


  • Shelter Scotland shares the Scottish Government’s vision for a private rented sector (PRS) that can play a greater role in meeting housing need. The proportion of households in the PRS has more than doubled in Scotland in the last ten years, and it is expected that the demand will grow further in the future especially from families,young people and low income households. Scotland has an opportunity to review how the PRS functions and ensure that the right framework is in place to allow it to evolve to become fit for the twenty-first century.
  • Shelter Scotland is calling for greater security of tenure in the PRS. We believe that the current short assured tenancy regime, where the most common tenancy term is six months, is not fit-for-purpose given the size of the sector and the shifting demographics of tenants who rent privately.
  • As more people call the PRS home it is important that the sector adapts to the changing needs of its customer base. Young people are increasingly locked out of home ownership and more families are now living in the PRS. There is no reason why these groups should not have the level of security in their home that previous generations could aspire to. As the PRS is now a long-term housing option for many, it is imperative that we consider the current level of security and stability the sector provides.

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