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2 February 2015, 07:11
A significant number of people struggle to find suitable private-rented accommodation in Scotland, according to a report.
The problems are down to a shortage of supply, the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) said.
A poll of more than 1,000 people found that 43% of people looking to rent in the last five years have found it "quite difficult'' or "very difficult'' to find a suitable property.
It was commissioned by SAL and the Council of Letting Agents who are now calling on the Scottish Government to encourage investment and construction in the private rented sector.
Poor treatment by landlords and value for money were also identified as issues for people looking to rent.
John Blackwood, chief executive of SAL, said: "Although the private-rented sector in Scotland sometimes has a poor reputation, this poll shows that a significant number of people are trying to access the market and that many of them are not able to find suitable accommodation.
"We are acutely aware of the need to introduce measures which protect tenants from poor treatment by landlords and letting agents and will work with all parties to drive these rogue companies and individuals out of the sector. At the same time, however, it is important to take measures which encourage investment in the private-rented sector.
"Landlords and letting agents must be given the confidence to invest in the housing sector as well as be encouraged to refurbish properties and make them available for rent.
"They need to be able to evict tenants who indulge in anti-social behaviour or repossess properties that have been abandoned so that properties can be let to responsible tenants looking for accommodation and help meet the increased demand.''