Page last updated at 12:13 GMT, Tuesday, 24 March 2009

'Bigger role' for landlords call

Scotland's private landlords could be playing a greater role in providing accommodation for homeless people, the Scottish Government has said.

The call came as it unveiled a comprehensive review of the private rented sector.

Housing Minister Alex Neil said the current economic downturn meant demand for private housing was increasing at a significant rate.

The study showed a marked rise in demand from migrants and students.

And it recorded high levels of satisfaction with landlords and let property among private tenants - although concerns were raised about repairs and tenancy deposits.

Legal change

Landlords themselves had some concern about the length and cost of legal action to seek repossession and the administration of housing benefit.

"It is imperative we develop a modern and effective private-rented sector, capable of delivering the supply and standard of housing that the people of Scotland expect," said Mr Neil.

"The findings are encouraging, but we recognise there is still work to be done. Private landlords have the potential to play a greater role in providing accommodation for homeless households in particular."

Mr Neil said the Scottish ministers would also continue to press the UK Government for tax law changes to stoke institutional investment in private renting.

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