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Scottish Councils ‘Right of Entry’ into PRS Houses

From April this year, Scottish councils will be able to gain entry to all homes in the private rental sector to enforce a minimum maintenance standard, thanks to new changes in the Housing (Scotland) Act.

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Housing officers will be able to check whether homes meet fire and electrical safety standards, if it is watertight and wind proof, and generally fit for human habitation – and they won’t need the landlord’s permission to do so.

PRS Growing in Scotland The private housing sector now accounts for 1/8 of all homes in Scotland, many of whom are families with children. Experts say the new policy will directly benefit this group as they (along with younger tenants) are the least likely to complain about living in a home that doesn’t meet the minimum standards for fear of being evicted.

These conclusions were drawn as a result of evidence from a child rights and wellbeing impact assessment conducted by the Scottish government. The report states:

“Anecdotal evidence suggests that tenants are reluctant to take action to force the landlord to undertake necessary repairs or improvements, for a variety of reasons. In some cases tenants may not be aware of their rights or be confident in taking action to enforce their right.”

Vulnerable Tenants Targeted Some local authorities have indicated that vulnerable groups are likely to be targeted by housing officers, in an attempt to drive up standards in the PRS.


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