Landlord register is expensive failure in Scotland

A landlord register that has cost £18 million in fees and running costs has seen just 11 bad landlords reported for prosecution in six years.

The Scottish national landlord register has 200,000 private landlords listed – and has barred just 40 and referred 11 to the procurator fiscal since 2006.

The Welsh Assembly Government is consulting over a similar scheme and Labour want to introduce landlord registration in England should they win the next election.

But the figures for Scotland show 0.02% of landlords were stopped from registering and 0.005% were considered for prosecution for landlord/tenant law offences.

The figures come responses in parliament from the Scottish Government to Tory MSP Alex Johnstone.

He was told:

  • 11 landlords reported for prosecution – just 0.005% of the total registered
  • 40 refused a licence
  • Landlords have paid £11.2 million in fees
  • The Scottish Government spent £5.2 million to set up the register
  • Running the register has cost around £300,000

Scottish Conservative housing spokesman Johnstone said: “This scheme was set up to root out the kind rogue landlords that have no place in the industry, but so far it has cost over £400,000 for every landlord who has been refused registration.

“According to this scheme, since 2006, there are only 40 rogue landlords operating in Scotland, however many tenants will have had an altogether more negative experience.

“This farcical programme, introduced with the best of intentions, is failing to deliver at a tremendous cost to the taxpayer.”

The register is also under attack from landlords, who see the register as a failure.

Scottish Association of Landlords policy and parliamentary affairs officer, John Blackwood said:
“With almost £18 million of government and private funds g spent so far with so little result, the scheme is doing little to inspire the confidence either of our members or the tenants who look to us for good accommodation and service.”

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