Private Rented Sector Stakeholder Engagement Group minutes: March 2023

Minutes from the meeting of the Private Rented Sector Stakeholder Engagement Group on 16 March, 2023.

Attendees and apologies

  • Ashley Campbell (CIH)
  • David Hilferty (CAS)
  • David Melhuish (Scottish Property Federation)
  • Emma Saunders (Living Rent)
  • John Blackwood (SAL)
  • Rhiannon Sims (Crisis Scotland)
  • Ronnell Reffell (UK Finance)
  • Sarah-Jane Laing (SLE)
  • Timothy Douglas (PropertyMark)
  • Scottish Government officials

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

The Chair welcomed attendees to the first meeting of the Stakeholder Engagement Group and updated the group on the purpose and Terms of Reference.

Main discussion points

Terms of Reference

The Terms of Reference were shared prior to the meeting and the group were invited to offer any further comments;

  • officials agreed to secure input from the steering group established to look at the impacts of regulation on the private rented sector
  • a standing invitation would be made to Ken Gibb to join the Stakeholder Engagement Group

Progress of Housing (Scotland) Bill

  • the work on the Housing (Scotland) Bill was paused last year to support work on the cost of living legislation
  • the Scottish Government will introduce a Housing (Scotland) Bill this year
  • timeline – actual timeline to be confirmed although it is anticipated that introduction will be as early as possible after recess
  • the Bill will likely include a range of housing-related topics, largely based on New Deal (see discussion below); as well as taking forward homelessness prevention duties and provisions on a number of minor topics
  • in terms of rent control, it will be a framework Bill, with further details through secondary legislation
  • the intention is for rent control to be implemented by 2025
  • the importance of data in supporting implementation was raised and there was an agreement to have a further more detailed discussion on data
  • officials have a range of meetings with stakeholders planned including with local authorities and officials from other areas across Scottish Government
  • it was agreed that the Stakeholder Group would be a forum for providing iterative feedback, supporting the development of the rent control measures and inputting views on the implications and insights on emerging proposals from different parts of the sector
  • the outputs from the Stakeholder Group will inform the impact of the Bill to balance the interests of tenants and landlords appropriately
  • the definition of affordability was raised and Catriona advised that work is ongoing on developing a shared understanding on affordability, rather than a definition. There may be work that we can draw on from the steering group supporting this work – there was an agreement to seek an update
  • an update on the wider New Deal proposals was provided. This included unlawful eviction damages under the Cost of Living Act; flexibility to keep pets and personalise a home, the end of joint tenancies, unclaimed deposits, and rent adjudication
  • the work planned for the rented sector strategy has been delayed. Members were keen to see a final New Deal for Tenant strategy published and there was an agreement to update members when there is an agreed a position on this


  • there was an agreement to have a further discussion on data
  • officials will secure an update from the housing affordability group on work on a shared understanding of affordability
  • officials will update members on the ‘New Deal for Tenants’ strategy when information becomes available

Any other business

  • officials are in the process of recruiting an independent Chair for this group
  • date of next meeting 27 April 2023
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