Blog: Support for private landlords in Lochaber



Shelter ScotlandShelter Scotland’s private landlord support officer, Bryan Powell, details how he works to improve the private rented sector in Lochaber.

I am working with the Private Landlords in Lochaber to improve housing conditions and tenancy management across the area. At a time when two thirds of Scotland’s private rented sector homes falls below the Scottish Housing Standard and with variable standards across the sector, there is clearly a need for this new Shelter Scotland initiative.

On 28th January, seventeen Landlords came together on a raining evening in Fort William for the Launch of the Private Landlord Support Project – Lochaber and discovered the practical assistance I can offer in implementing improvements. Not surprisingly change was also very much on everyone’s agenda.

We considered how the Private Rented Sector is being increasingly called upon to provide accommodation to families unable or unwilling to access mortgages following the banking crisis. As the sector grows and evolves there is the need for greater security of tenure offering a stable home in which a family can thrive in their community.

We talked about newly implemented legislation around Carbon Monoxide Detectors and the challenges the changes in tax relief and introduction of the 3 per cent Land and Building Transaction Tax Additional Homes Supplement presents for landlords. The Private Housing (Tenancy) Bill discussed by the Scottish Parliament earlier in the same week also warranted a mention as this, when enacted, will significantly reform the Private Rented Sector in Scotland.

We also enjoyed excellent presentations from the Highland Council, Lochaber Lets a local letting agent and Home Energy Scotland regarding the advice and financial assistance tenants and landlords can access for energy efficiency measures in a home.

The event was well received and we agreed to meet again. Future meetings will address the hot topics of the moment for landlords and allow plenty of time for discussion and sharing of good practice afterwards. A Private Landlord Forum in Lochaber has been born!

By providing a good quality long term home, Landlords look after their bricks and mortar investment reaping the benefit of not just a capital but also a social return in the future. Landlords are invited to get in touch with me to discuss and implement improvement plans or to get answers to questions around good practice, meeting standards and complying with legislation.

If you want to get in touch with Bryan, email: Bryan_Powell@Shelter.org.uk.



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