Scotland's Land Register Accused

Scotland’s Government has been urged to review its landlord registration scheme.  Since the register has been introduced in January 2007, not one landlord has been prosecuted for failure to register with the scheme.

Alex Neil, Housing Minister in Scotland stated that in excess of 1,200 notices have been issued by the end of March this year and that councils had applied for more than 1,300 late application fees.  Under the legislation, Scottish councils can suspend rent, which is due to landlords and can also administer late registration penalties.

The registration scheme, which was introduced as an initiative to impede unethical and dishonest landlords has seen only 24 landlords refused registration, with a mere 3 having their registration evoked since it’s introduction.

Alex Johnstone, Conservative Housing spokesman claimed, “Landlords have expressed the opinion that the scheme has been unsuccessful in dealing with rogue landlords, and that the scheme has amounted to little more than a tax on those property owners who are responsible landlords.  The scheme is quite clearly not working.  Why has there been so little action?”

It has been claimed that £16 million of public and private money had been spent on this initiative.  Mr. Johnstone demanded a government review adding that the scheme “clearly isn’t working”.

Madalena Penny