The abolition of the right to buy social housing accommodation is just one of the questions being posed to the people of Scotland by the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee.
A call for evidence has been issued today on the wide-ranging Housing (Scotland) Bill. As well as proposing the abolition of ‘right to buy’, the Bill makes a variety of legislative changes relating to the social and private sector housing sectors. The ICI Committee is asking for views on all of these provisions, including:
- Adjusting the rules and procedures around the allocation of social housing as well the operation of short Scottish secure tenancies and Scottish secure tenancies.
- Transferring certain private rented sector cases from the sheriff courts to the new First-tier Tribunal. In particular it transfers all non-criminal actions relating to regulated tenancies and some actions relating to the repairing standard, the right to adapt houses and landlord registration.
- Creating a mandatory register of letting agents in Scotland, the introduction of statutory provisions regarding letting agents’ practice and a proposed mechanism for resolving disputes between letting agents and their customers (landlords and tenants).
- A new licensing regime for mobile home sites with permanent residents, with implications for both mobile home site operators and permanent residents of sites.
- Local authority enforcement powers for tackling poor maintenance, safety and security work, particularly in tenemental properties.
Committee Convener Maureen Watt MSP said:
“Our job as a Committee is to examine the Bill and advise Parliament on whether or not it is the best way to address the Scottish Government’s policy goals. This Bill impacts on people who rent in both the social and private housing sectors – as well as on landlords and letting agents. It also has proposals that will be of interest to mobile home owners – and the owners of mobile home parks.
“We are keen to hear from all interested groups and individuals to ensure all sides of the debate are heard. This will help us to consider the proposals and make recommendations to Parliament.”
The call for evidence will close on midday on Friday 28 February 2014 and can be accessed here:
Call for evidence page
The Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee expects to consider written submissions and to take oral evidence from mid-January to mid-March 2014, before reporting on the Bill’s general principles in early April 2014.
The Committee therefore invites all interested organisations and individuals to submit written evidence on the Bill and its likely impact.