Many of the subjects we cover are relevant anywhere in the UK. However, Scotland also has some unique characteristics that affect lenders and consumers, which we consider separately.
What makes Scotland different?
It has its own legal framework, and devolved political decision-making on housing and property taxation. Some of the most notable differences in Scotland compared with England include:
- Different property taxation - Land & Buildings Transaction Tax took effect from 1 April 2015 and is administered by Revenue Scotland.
- New legislation introducing a tax supplement on purchases of additional residential properties was passed by Scottish Parliament on 8 March 2016. The supplement will be levied on the purchase of additional homes, such as second homes or buy-to-let properties.
- A different house-buying process and legal framework, as well as the Home Report which is unique to Scotland
- The Help-to-buy (Scotland) Affordable Newbuild Scheme, the successor to the Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme was launched on 21 January 2016 - this differs from the English scheme.
- The Right to Buy scheme was abolished in Scotland in July 2016.
- The repossession process in Scotland differs from the rest of the UK. The Scottish government also has a Home Owners Support Fund to help home-owners experiencing payment difficulties.
- The UK Finance mortgage lenders' handbook (which sets out instructions from lenders to conveyancers) has a specific version for Scotland.
Scottish Government's programme for 2016-17
On 6 September 2016, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the Scottish Government’s programme for 2016-17. See the full programme on the Scottish Government website.
- We responded to the Scottish Government consultation on improving transparency in land ownership on 5 December 2016. We welcome their intention to bring greater transparency of land ownership in Scotland to improve accountability of land owners and tenants but feel that, if inadequately addressed, the proposals could disproportionately burden current and future property owners in Scotland. Read the full response on our consultation responses web page.
Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill
Legislation to introduce a supplement on purchases of additional residential properties has been published by the Scottish Parliament, in the form of the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill.
We have issued a response to the LBTT Bill, reflecting our ongoing keenness to continue to engage with the Scottish Parliament on this issue.
Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016
The Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 17 March 2016 and received Royal Assent on 22 April 2016. It is intended that the Act and the new tenancy arrangements it introduces will be implemented in December 2017.
Through our work representing members' interests in Scotland, we were able to secure a favourable amendment to the Bill in earlier debates to the effect that the lender's possession ground property to be sold by lender would be a mandatory ground, not a discretionary one.
We also provided a briefing to parliamentarians for the Stage 3 debate highlighting concerns expressed by some lenders about later government amendments to remove the minimum tenancy term and allow tenants to give 28 day's notice to terminate the tenancy.
The Bill, as passed, retains these provisions.
There were 71 government amendments and 10 non-government amendments that were agreed in the debate.
We encourage all members likely to be affected by this new legislation to familiarise themselves with it and to ensure other relevant colleagues are aware of it and it's implications for business processes and systems.
The new tenancy is expected to come into force in December 2017 and is part of the Government’s broader approach to reforming the private rented sector in Scotland, to make it a more professionally managed and better functioning sector, providing good quality homes.
Scottish Government has now published its analysis report of the consultation responses. The consultation responses to government will help shape the model tenancy agreement, prescribed forms and guidance so they are fit for purpose.
Our view on the consultation proposals was that we were broadly content with the proposals. In our response, we provided specific comments on 8 out of the 34 consultation questions.
Our views in the response are broadly consistent with the overall responses as presented in the government’s analysis report.
Implementation of the Act: The Scottish Government is working towards implementation of the Act in December 2017. We are represented on the government’s stakeholder implementation group. We are engaging with government on the detail relating to implementation of the Act. We have flagged lender concerns in relation to the timeline and the time and resources lenders will need to allocate in order to be ready for implementation. In particular, we have highlighted that:
- Changes will be required to mortgage terms and conditions, which currently reference assured and short assured tenancies.
- It is likely that lenders will need to make changes to their IT system and processes, to accommodate the new arrangements under the Act.
- Similarly, lending policies will need to be amended and updated.
- Changes such as these will be resource-intensive for lenders.
- It is therefore important that these issues are considered by government and factored-in to the implementation timeline.
Government information for landlords and tenants on the Act: Government has provided information on the new residential tenancies via these web links:
Please see below for detailed information on our policy work in Scotland:
Last updated: 9 May 2017
This overview of the social and affordable housing sector across the UK focuses on how housing associations are funded and regulated. It highlights key issues in the sector and our position, including our calls for certainty of public funding and stable implementation of welfare reforms.
Last updated: 30 August 2017
The latest position in relation mortgage performance but also an overview of the support that is available to mortgage borrowers who are experiencing payment difficulty. This includes support for mortgage interest and assisted voluntary sales.
Last updated: 10 August 2017
This page provides information on conveyancing for members.
Last updated: 28 July 2017
This page includes an overview of government-funded Help to Buy equity loan schemes; details the arrangements for England, Scotland and Wales and also includes updates on the latest statistics for the schemes.
Last updated: 4 September 2017
This is a comprehensive round-up of the main current and predecessor schemes for low cost home ownership, also known as the intermediate market.
Last updated: 28 April 2015
The Scottish Government operates a homeowners support fund to assist those in difficulty with the payment of their mortgage. This update provides lenders with details on the administration of the scheme and what is expected of lenders.
Last updated: 21 November 2016
This overview details our neutral position on the scheme in relation to residential mortgage lending.