Edinburgh's Property Pulse: New Deal or No Deal?

New Deal or No Deal? What does Holyrood's turmoil mean for the Scottish rental sector?

What a difference a week makes. Hamza Yousaf has resigned as FM, the Bute House Agreement has been dissolved… and the Scottish rental market is at a crossroads as stakeholders are left pondering the fate of the ambitious New Deal for tenants, currently under review by Parliament.

The first draft of the new Housing (Scotland) Bill – presented by the Scottish Government in March – proposed a suite of tenant-friendly measures including rent caps, enhanced pet permissions, decorating freedoms, modified eviction protocols, and a rehashing of Rent Pressure Zones (RPZs) into formalised rent controls. But, with so much upheaval and political uncertainty, will this deal ever see the light of day in its current form or could it be revoked completely?

If the New Deal does go ahead, landlords and agents will need to be fully prepared and ready to act quickly to respond to any new tenant freedoms that could be introduced. As rent controls have time and time again been shown to be ineffective, it will be important to ensure that any changes do not negatively impact the property or profitability. While a relationship-based approach, as practised by a good agent like Chapmans, may help in successfully adapting to the new regulations, larger agents with a less personal approach may find it challenging to do so.

From an expert perspective, the dissolution of the Bute House Agreement may signal a period of reassessment and potential realignment of priorities within the Scottish Parliament. Stakeholders in the residential letting sector would do well to stay informed and engaged with these developments, ready to adapt to the changing regulatory environment.

Indeed, the coming months will be critical in determining the trajectory of the Scottish rental market. It is more important than ever to be prepared for a range of outcomes and to stay well-informed and on the ball. By understanding the implications of the Housing (Scotland) Bill and the political dynamics at play, the sector can navigate these uncertain times with confidence.

At Chapmans, we will be watching with interest to see how events unfold and will be keeping clients and tenants abreast of any changes, working together to get the best results all round whatever the future looks like for the Scottish rental sector.

Please feel free to get in touch If you have any questions about how the latest political developments in Scotland may affect you and your rental property. We’re always happy to help.