HOMELESSNESS MAY BE INCREASED BY NEW LEGISLATION
There is growing concern in the Highlands that the
mandatory licensing of houses in multiple occupation will result in the
closure of some houses because the owners will not be able to meet new
standards, with a resultant increase in homeless people. Such are the
concerns about the recent legislation introduced by the Scottish
Executive that a public meeting is being called on Thursday 8 November
between noon and 2 pm at the Town House, Inverness to identify action
that can be taken to protect vulnerable people.
Organising the meeting are Inverness Council for the
Single Homeless and the
Scottish Association of Landlords Chair Stephen Peasnall says some members are considering selling their properties rather than face the ongoing cost of the implementation of the new legislation. He said: "Added to this, the rising property values in Inverness will mean the value of an HMO, which will be dampened by the HMO regulations, will have less value than if it were to be sold on the residential market. This may cause some current landlords to look at the viability of continuing to provide accommodation. Although the licensing fee is set at a reasonable level associated costs to meet Highland Council regulations greatly add to the burden already placed upon landlords to comply with the implementation of this legislation."
Both ICSH and SAL (Inverness Branch) welcome the
introduction of this legislation, as it will improve the overall
standards of accommodation available to people of limited means.
However, there is a need for this legislation to be implemented with a
degree of flexibility and discretion