Friday, 18 March 2011

Holyrood: HMO amendment passed

HMO territory
Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) or private rented flats have for long been an issue of tension within flatted areas such as make up part of the Southside & Newington ward.  Despite legislation introduced in recent years frustration has remained that it has not been effective in limiting anti social behaviour or maintaining the mixed character of some areas.  On the other hand others have expressed concern that the legislation has added regulation, increasing rental costs and discouraging potential landlords form making accommodation available.

At a debate in Holyrood yesterday on the Private Rented (Scotland) Bill, an amendment from Conservative MSP Ted Brocklebank was passed by an overwhelming majority.  In his words:
What this amendment does not seek to do is reduce the number of HMOs or champion community associations at the expense of landlords, students or other tenants. What it would do is give licensing authorities the unequivocal right to refuse applications in areas where they believe there are already too many.  The legislation is not retrospective, but over time it does seek to achieve more balanced communities where tenants in HMOs can live in closer harmony with existing tenants."
More details from here from STV and  here from the Edinburgh Reporter which includes opposing views from Liam Burns, the President of the National Union of Students.

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