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New Scottish bill to tackle rogue landlords

publication date: Nov 17, 2010
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Unscrupulous landlords could face fines of up to £50,000 under new proposals announced by the Scottish Government.

Alex Neil Communities Minister Alex Neil (pictured) unveiled new legislation aimed at improving the standard of private rented housing in Scotland where recent figures estimate that there are 240,800 privately rented homes.

Unveiling the Private Rented Housing Bill, which would tighten the law on registering private landlords and give councils more powers to tackle rogue landlords, Housing Minister Alex Neil said, “Good, lawful landlords have nothing to fear. The Bill sends a clear message to bad and unlawful landlords that they will not be tolerated.”

The Bill would increase the maximum fines for worst offenders from £5,000 to £50,000 and the courts will also be given the power to ban convicted landlords for up to five years.

Landlords will be required to provide tenants with information on rights and responsibilities.

Councillor Colin Keir, convener of Edinburgh City Council’s regulatory committee, said there were a small minority of landlords who did “damage the reputation” of the industry.

He added, “The council welcomes the measures proposed in the Private Rented Housing Bill. It will provide added protection for tenants and reputable landlords, and help local authorities to take robust enforcement action when it is called for.”