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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5O-01357: Stuart McMillan (Greenock and Inverclyde)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 18 October 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with NUS Scotland regarding protecting students from exploitative private rental agreements.

Answered by: Kevin Stewart 25 October 2017

I want to be clear that I am very concerned that anyone could be exploited by private rental agreements. It leaves people open to exploitation and possible abuse and is an unacceptable practice.

On 5 June 2017 I wrote in June to the President of NUS Scotland regarding ‘sex for rent’ adverts, the exploitative practice of using free online platforms such as Craigslist to offer accommodation in return for sexual services. I have also written to online platform hosts such as Craigslist, Gumtree and Vivastreet about this issue and asked them to remove these adverts. No response from NUS Scotland has been received so far but I would be happy to discuss with them further.

The Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 creates a new private residential tenancy for all future lets in Scotland from 1 December 2017 onwards and will provide tenants, including students, with additional security of tenure when they rent in the mainstream private rented sector.