Nationwide warns against Scottish rent controls

Sarah Davidson

March 21, 2016

Nationwide has warned the SNP to be cautious and refrain from rushing through stricter rent controls in Scotland.

Ian Andrew, ‎managing director, intermediary sales at Nationwide, said the Private Tenancies Bill which passed last week and introduced zoned rent controls as well as restricting landlords’ rights to repossess, must “bed in” before any further measures are considered.

He said: “Following the passing of the Private Tenancies Bill, we believe that a period of bedding-in prior to the consideration of any further reform is very important.

“Given the scale of upcoming change as a result of the Bill, it is crucial for landlords and the market in general that a period of stability exists before any further measures are considered.”

Last week delegates at the Scottish National Party Spring conference voted in favour of introducing national rent controls for all Scottish tenants rather than just in zones as outlined in the Bill.

Andrew added: “To ensure that there are no unforeseen consequences over the longer term, including increasing tenant cost or restricting choice, we would urge caution.

“Any further measures, such as the use of rent controls, risk constraining investment in a sector that is an increasingly important element of the UK’s housing market.”

Alan Cleary, managing director of Precise Mortgages, added: “We will monitor the debate on further rent controls but any prudent lender will have to consider whether this introduces additional credit risk that warrants lending policy revision.”

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