Boost Scotland by building thousands of homes to rent

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THE emergence of Gerry More as private rented champion and Hearthstone’s fund for building significant numbers of houses for rent together constitute a major step in the right direction (Business, 16 November).

Before the right to buy was introduced a large proportion of Scots lived in rented homes, and in many other countries this is the norm.

The desperate need in Scotland is for small but soundly built homes, built with a close eye on costs. Terraces or tenements are more suited to city or town-centre locations than are small bungalows and are more economical to build.

The government and the trades involved should bring out a standard tenancy contract, and suitably qualified firms should be licensed as factors. On no condition should a house within the development be sold – a few years down the line some form of repairs may be needed, and if there are individual owners one of them may be unwilling or unable to pay their share.

A thousand homes will be a good start, but such a scheme could grow to provide several thousand houses a year and be a major boost to the tax base of local and national government, as well as meeting the needs of single people and couples across the land.

John Smart, Lossiemouth