We are again another week in the strange circumstances we have been adapting too since March and I am sure we are all probably mentally drained by hearing about covid-19 and the corona virus, I do try and not bring it up too often, however there have been affects and changes that you have to be aware of.
Fair Rents Bill – call for views
Reported back in June, Scottish Labour MSP Pauline McNeill has published a Member’s Bill in the Scottish Parliament to place a blanket restriction on mid-tenancy rent increases for Private Residential Tenancies (PRTs). The bill wording can be read here.
The bill proposes that:
• landlords of PRTs can only increase the rent by CPI + 1% each year
• tenants who feel their rent is too high can apply to the rent officer for a determination of a fair open market rent, they can do this at any time during a tenancy but no more frequently than 12 monthly
• landlords are required to provide information on the rent they charge when applying to register/renew their landlord registration, this is to develop better data on rent levels.
The bill does not propose introducing any restriction on the amount a landlord increases rent by between tenancies.
The Scottish Association of Landlord’s principal concern about the bill is that it will act as a disincentive to landlords considering reducing the rent below the open market level in order to attract new tenants or help existing tenants who are in financial difficulty, something that many members have been doing to help their tenants during the coronavirus crisis. This is because the cap on increases of CPI + 1% would prevent a landlord increasing the rent back up to the open market rental value during the tenancy.
The Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Communities Committee has launched a call for views on the bill. We would encourage all members to respond to the call for views – details can be found at
https://yourviews.parliament.scot/lgc/fair-rents-bill/l. The closing date for responses is Monday 7 December.
A Member’s Bill follows a 3-stage scrutiny process, during which it may be amended or rejected outright. If it is passed at the end of the process, it becomes an Act. The wording of the bill sets out an expectation that, if approved by MSPs, it will come into force by May 2021. However, this might not be achievable as the timescale from publication of a bill to any resultant legislation coming into force in Scotland is normally at least two years. However, there is political pressure for the bill to be properly considered by parliament and it will feature heavily in political parties’ manifestos for the May 2021 Scottish Parliament elections if it does not progress in the current parliamentary session.
The Domestic Abuse Bill
The bill proposes that landlords should be allowed to transfer a joint lease of a property to a sole tenancy, from the perpetrator to the victim of domestic abuse, if they have been married or lived together.
It also outlines new powers for the police to prohibit suspected abusers from entering a property for a short period, and then apply to the courts for a longer term protective order, which would prevent the suspected abusers from returning to the property for up to two months. This would ensure that victims have much needed breathing space, free from the perpetrator’s compulsion and control, while they decide on their best future options.
Housing groups, including Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland, have been calling on the Scottish Government to introduce legislative changes to better protect victims of domestic violence, and new proposals have now been submitted to Parliament for consideration in its current term.
Callum Chomczuk, National Director of CIH Scotland commented: “In Scotland, domestic abuse is given as the main reason by women for making a homelessness application, but at times victims are made homeless by the services that are meant to help them.
Covid-19 changes to model lease – 1 Oct 2020
The Scottish Government has made changes to the model private residential tenancy (PRT) lease to reflect the extension of the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act to 31 March 2021 and a reduction in the notice period for anti-social/criminal behaviour down to 28 days (coming into force on 3 October).
Glasgow’s East End neighbourhood has made the top 10 coolest in the world in an annual survey conducted by Time Out.
The survey of over 38,000 residents of cities across the globe, asked the respondents where they most loved spending time around their city and a list of 40 coolest neighbourhoods in the world was compiled, taking into account food, drink, nightlife, independent culture and community spirit.
Dennistoun came eighth on the list and was the only UK neighbourhood which made the top 20, with Dublin’s Phibsboro ranked 27th and London’s Soho 31st.
Feng Shui Tips – I found the thought interesting, I do not practice this, my home is a guddle.
More than 3000 years ago in China scientists discovered Feng Shui (also known as Chi). The basic principle of Feng Shui is that Feng, which means “wind” and Shui, which means “water”, are energies that attract good health and wealth. Bad Feng Shui attracts poor health and negative energy.
The goal of Feng Shui is to harmonise and align the energy focus of the universe, earth and humanity together. These energies are invisible but move around each of us continually. This is known as Chi. The problem is if you do not have your home arranged in a way to allow these forces to circulate and enhance the feelings of harmony, calm and happiness.
Our homes are divided into different areas and how we arrange the basic elements of life within those areas will ensure health, wealth and happiness. There is so much information about the perfect arrangement, that when doing research, I became overwhelmed!
I love the idea of being able to live in a perfect balanced way with negative energy flowing through and away and positive energy engulfing us, but at this point in time, I would just like to go to a restaurant with some friends for dinner and drinks!
Take care and stay safe,
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