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Scottish landlords 'could be forced to increase rent'

The Scottish Association of Landlords has criticised the change. Credit: PA

Scottish landlords could be pushed to raise their rents because of measures announced in today's budget, according to the Scottish Association of Landlords.

The group is worried about the ending of tax deductions for buy-to-let mortgages:

This is a shocking decision by the Chancellor of the Exchequer which unfairly discriminates against landlords who provide valuable housing across Scotland. In other businesses, tax is applied on profit, which is as it should be.

Although we welcome other measures in the Budget such as reforms to the Rent A Room scheme which will increase supply of affordable rented accommodation, the decision on buy-to-let mortgages means landlords will essentially be taxed for investing in their businesses, something utterly unthinkable in any other sector.

As a result of this increase cost and risk to landlords, you may see some within the sector feeling they are forced to increase their rent levels which would obviously have a huge negative impact on tenants. The Scottish Association of Landlords have been working constructively with both Shelter and the Scottish Government to find ways of increasing supply to drive down rent levels in hot-spots across Scotland but this decision by the Chancellor potentially takes the legs away from that valuable partnership working.

We will be consulting our members, Scottish MPs and MSPs, as well as the Scottish Government and the third sector to find ways of trying to overturn this decision or, at the very least, to mitigate the damage this could cause to our business and to our customers in Scotland.”

– John Blackwood, Chief Executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords

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Hundreds of affordable homes for the Borders

The Scottish Housing Minister has announced plans for 200 affordable homes in the Scottish Borders.

Margaret Burgess made the announcement during a trip to a housing development in Innerleithen. The James Hogg Court development will be used as a pilot for the new housing scheme.

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200 new homes for Scottish Borders

200 new affordable homes will be built in the Scottish Borders.

The Scottish Housing Minister Margaret Burgess made the announcement during a visit to a new housing development in Innerleithen.

The homes will be delivered by the Scottish Government and Scottish Borders Council.

Mrs Burgess also officially opened the 24 home development at James Hogg Court in Innerleithen, delivered by Tweed Homes through the Scottish Government's National Housing Initiative.

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South Lakeland's Local Plan takes a step forward

Developers are now submitting requests to build on 88 sites in South Cumbria earmarked to create 1000 new affordable homes and 1000 better-paid jobs in the area.

South Lakeland District Council is one of only a few councils in the country to find land for development, rather than waiting for developers to propose sites.

It's hoped it'll meet a housing and job crisis: there are around 3000 families waiting for a housing association home in South Lakeland and many more who can't find an affordable home.

The charity Shelter says fewer than 3% of properties in the area are affordable for families. Less than 1% of people in South Cumbria are unemployed but many are on the minimum wage and can't afford high Lake District prices.

Of the 88 sites, 20 will be for businesses, the rest for housing. Of those sites, 4.2% are brownfield while 95.8% are greenfield. Environmental groups feel that building on greenfield sites is wrong and will damage local habitats.

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People at risk of becoming homeless in the South Lakes are being helped by a plan to make more rented properties available.

South Lakeland District Council is more than doubling the number of homes it leases from private landlords.

They are being let out to tenants who could otherwise be excluded from private sector renting, because they are on benefits.

Fiona Marley Paterson reports.

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