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  2. MSPs asked about fracking, dualling the A9 and Scotland's steel industry during general questions
  3. Nicola Sturgeon was quizzed by opposition party leaders during first minister's questions
  4. MSPs debated the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill for the final time, before it was passed at decision time

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Colin Bell

All times stated are UK

That's all from Holyrood Live today

That's all from us here at Holyrood Live until next Tuesday.

Have a lovely weekend.

Holyrood at night
Scottish Parliament

BreakingMSPs pass the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill

MSPs pass the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill.


84 MSPs backed it and 14 voted against.

Housing Minister Margaret Burgess's valedictory speech

Ms Burgess says there was a recognition that increasing household supply will impact and improve the rents across the housing sector.

The housing minister says the government has delivered on 30,000 affordable homes and the SNP will deliver on at least 50,000 affordable homes.

Margaret Burgess and Marco Biagi

She says Siobhan McMahon was as ever very reasoned, measured and considered and wishes her well.

Ms Burgess says this is her last debate in the chamber and says she and Siobhan and everyone leaving the parliament recognise what a privilege it has been to serve at Holyrood.

Deputy Presiding Officer Elaine Smith pays warm tribute to Ms Burgess and wishes her well. 

Labour's proposal of a charter is a huge policy shift says minister

The housing minister says Labour's proposal of a charter is a huge policy shift and was not part of this bill and was not costed.

Ms Burgess says it was a new policy proposed to late. 

Government have a strategic approach - Minister

Housing Minister Margaret Burgess says the result of this bill will be a fairer balance between landlords and tenants. 

Housing Minister Margaret Burgess

Ms Burgess says the government have a strategic approach and that is why they did not support the charter.

Father pays warm tribute to daughter

Labour MSP Michael McMahon pays tribute to Siobhan McMahon, who is of course his daughter.

Labour MSP Michael McMahon pays tribute to Siobhan McMahon

He says she has not been a book at Holyrood as she suggested, bookended by himself and Ken Macintosh, rather this has been a chapter and she has much more to do and offer.

'Everyone in Scotland deserves a safe, warm and secure home'

Mr McMahon says everyone in Scotland deserves a safe, warm and secure home. 

Labour MSP complains about rejection of rent arrears amendment

Mr McMahon says the fact that a tenant can be evicted for failing to make one month's rent on time is a huge failing in the bill.

House keys

He says Labour's compromise of two months was rejected by the government.

The protections for tenants in the bill are good but may not be good enough

Labour MSP Michael McMahon  says the bill requires that landlords must show evidence for certain reasons of eviction.

Labour MSP Michael McMahon

Mr McMahon says landlords are given greater security by the bill as well as tenants.

He says the protections for tenants in the bill are good but may not be good enough.

Not enough rental properties available - Tory MSP

Mr Johnstone says the reason why there are high rents in certain areas is because there are too few rental properties available.

The Conservative MSP says maybe one day there will be enough of his party in power to make a difference.

Green MSP Ptrick Harvie intervenes to ask if the private rental sector should dominate the housing market in Scotland.

Green MSP Ptrick Harvie
Green MSP Ptrick Harvie

Mr Johnstone says the ideal is home ownership. 

"Unlike Patrick Harvie I will always believe in the sector", he says. 

Tories to vote against bill at decision time

Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone says he feels the bill could have been better and at decision time his party will stand with landlords and vote against the bill.

Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone

Mr Johnstone says most landlords are single property owners and if asked to do the right thing, will do the right thing.

Siobhan McMahon's valedictory speech

Labour MSP Siobhan McMahon calls for more detail about the implementation of the bill, but she says she welcomes it.

Ms McMahon says scrutiny of the implementation will be crucial.

She says this is her last speech in the chamber.

The Labour MSP says she is proud of her record as Holyrood's youngest female and her party's only disabled member of the parliament

Ms McMahon says she is most proud she could represent her constituency with her father by her side.

Labour MSP Siobhan McMahon
Labour MSP Siobhan McMahon

She says she is looking forward to her first child in July and spending quality time with her husband.

Ms McMahon closes quoting her father's maiden speech who said: "It is only right that the first aim of this parliament is the creation of prosperity for this country.

"However if we do not work to ensure that nobody is in any way excluded from access to that prosperity we will undoubtedly fail the people."

The deputy presiding officer wishes her all the best for the future. 

Green MSP calls for Scotland to be more bold on private rented sector

Mr Harvie says more full scale reform is required to close the gap between the social rented sector and the private rented sector.

Patrick Harvie

He says Scotland must be more radical and bold.

Is Holyrood Palace rented? Asks Green MSP

Scottish Green Party co-convener says he is delighted the Queen has given consent to the bill, although he does not know if she rents Holyrood Palace.

Holyroodhouse Palace

Mr Harvie jokes that these are difficult times for a big family.   

Lib Dems support the bill

Lib Dem MSP Jim Hume says the Scottish government has a duty to stop rent prices going up by supplying more housing.

Lib Dem MSP Jim Hume

Mr Hume says his party will support the bill at decision time.

Bill will not be enacted until tribunal is in place

SNP MSP Clare Adamson says the bill will not be enacted until the tribunal is in place which is likely to be in a year or year and a half.

SNP MSP Clare Adamson

Ms Adamson says tenants deserve the right to a home and a home they have rights to. 

The SNP MSP says a family should be allowed to stay in their home after a landlord passes away because that is their family home. 

Tory MSP says more could and should have been done to bill

we should have done more to create a proper balance between landlord and tenant

Alex JohnstoneConservative MSP

The bill contains 'threats to the private rented sector'

Tory MSP Alex Johhstone says the government has taken the side of the tenant.


Mr Johnstone says more should have been done for the landlord.

He says the bill contains threats to the private rented sector, like rent pressure zones.

Stakeholders disillusioned by bill

Mr Johnstone says as the process has drawn on a number of stakeholders have become more disillusioned with the bill.

The Conservative MSP says there is a misconception of landlords being rich and greedy but a number of them are "reluctantly" renting their properties. 

Stage one 'as good as it got' - Tory MSP

Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone says he said at stage one he didn't think he could support it but with amendments he would consider it.

Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone

 "Stage one was as good as it got", he says.

Labour MSP says the bill does address security of tenure

Mr Macintosh says the bill does address security of tenure.

The Labour MSPs says today is "a good step forward". 

Labour MSP expresses housing concerns

Mr Macintosh says many young people in Scotland today simply do not believe they will secure a home of their own.

Snakes and ladders
Mr Macintosh says youngsters struggle to get on the property ladder

He says they identify saving for a deposit as the biggest hurdle and says Labour's policy addresses that.

The Labour MSP says housing for social rent is more important than affordable rent.

Bill could have been 'better'

Labour MSP Ken Macintosh says it is good to reach the stage in the bill where the arguments have been made and the amendments won and lost.

Labour MSP Ken Macintosh

Mr Macintosh says, with the exception of the Tories, most are fairly happy with it although it could have been better and done sooner.

The Labour MSP pays tribute to Shelter Scotland, the Living Rent Campaign and Govan Law Centre for their "invaluable work" on the bill. 

Minister calls on MSPs to pass the Private Housing (Tenancies)(Scotland) Bill

The minister says she has exempted student accomodation from the bill.

However she says in the private rented sector, all tenants should be treated the same, including students.

Housing Minister Margaret Burgess

Ms Burgess says if you rent out a property in the private rented sector you have to accept that is the tenant's home.

She calls on the parliament to pass the Private Housing (Tenancies)(Scotland) Bill.

Background: Private Housing Bill's proposals

  • Legislation which will mean tenants can no longer be asked to leave their home simply because the tenancy has reached its end date 
  • Landlords will have modern protection for repossessing their property, such as intention to sell or move in themselves 
People looking in estate agent window
  • Rent increases limited to only one per year, with three months' notice - designed so tenants will have advance notice of changes, and can budget accordingly 
  • The opportunity for local authorities to implement rent controls in areas where there are excessive increases in rents and a concern about the impact this is having on tenants and the wider housing system 
  • More progressive repossession grounds for rent arrears cases, as well as new repossession grounds introduced for landlords where they want to sell their property or the tenant has abandoned the property 

BreakingIf government reelected fees will not be charged for tenants or landlords going to tribunal

Ms Burgess says the bill will enable tenants to feel more secure in their homes.

This will improve the quality of private renting, she says.

Home with 'To Let' sign

The minister says the First-tier Tribunal will provide fairness for landlords and tenants.

The minister says she is pleased to announce if this government is reelected, fees will not be charged for tenants or landlords going to the tribunal.

Minister welcomes collaborative approach to bill

Housing Minister Margaret Burgess says there has been a collaborative approach to the Private Housing (Tenancies)(Scotland) Bill.

Housing Minister Margaret Burgess

Ms Burgess says it was necessary to legislate to rebalance the relationship between landlords and tenants to one that was fairer.

Background: Private Housing (Tenancies)(Scotland) Bill

The Private Housing (Tenancies) Scotland Bill seeks to create a new private residential tenancy to supersede the tenancies provided for by the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988. 

Properties to let
Getty Images

It is expected that most new tenancies from late 2017 would be private residential tenancies. 

The overall aim of the bill is to improve security of tenure for tenants, while providing appropriate safeguards for landlords, lenders and investors. 

Private Housing (Tenancies)(Scotland) Bill final debate

MSPs now debate the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill for the final time, before voting on whether to pass it at decision time at 6.30pm. 

Rent arrears extension amdendment rejected

Labour MSP David Stewart says his final amendment relates to the eviction of a tenant for rent arrears.

Mr Stewart says his amendment raises the eviction level from one month of rent arrears to two.


Ms Burgess says she already moved on the issue of rent arrears at Stage 2 and calls on MSPs to reject the amendment.

They do and that brings to an end a marathon session of amendments. 

Abandonment grounds for eviction amendment defeated

Labour MSP David Stewart speaks to his amendment relating to eviction grounds when a let property has been abandoned.

Mr Stewart says the protection for the tenant is too weak at the moment.

Labour MSP David Stewart
Labour MSP David Stewart

He says his amendment will provide more protection.

Housing government minister says the bill means a landlord will have to prove a tenant is not using a property as their primary home.

The amendment is defeated. 

Employee eviction grounds amendment rejected

Labour MSP Ken Macintosh says he will not back Mr Johnstone's amendment.

Lib Dem MSP Jim Hume says he has some sympathy with it, as he fears farmers may not let their properties out in between taking on employers.

Lib Dem MSP Jim Hume
Lib Dem MSP Jim Hume

Mr Hume says he will back the amendment.

Margaret Burgess says she continues to have concerns about it saying it could mean a family could be evicted to allow an employee to move int.

The amendment is rejected.

Housing employee grounds for eviction amendment

Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone now speaks to his amendment relating to eviction grounds when the property is required for an employee or a retired employee.

Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone

Mr Johnstone says his amendment covers a reason he believes is grounds for eviction.

He says it is important that owners of property can rent them, knowing they can get the property back to house a retired employee or employee.

'Constructive meeting' between First Minister and President of Ghana

Background: Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill concerns

Private landlords have called on the Scottish government to alter its plans to modernise the law on tenancies.

Members of the Scottish Association of Landlords (Sal) said a bill before Holyrood would make it harder to tackle anti-social behaviour. 

They claimed it would end their right to allow a tenancy to come to a natural end.

To Let sign outside property

The government said the bill would make tenancies better regulated which would safeguard both tenants and landlords. 

Letting agents argued it was vital that anti-social tenants could be easily moved from their property. 

The government's Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill would mean they could only be removed after official complaints were made to police, with witnesses willing to give evidence to a tribunal.

Labour amendments relating to evictions grounds are defeated

Labour MSP David Stewart speaks to his amendments relating to eviction grounds when a  landlord intends to refurbish or to use property for non-residential purposes.

Mr Stewart says his amendments ensure the security of tenancy is cast iron.

Labour MSP David Stewart
Labour MSP David Stewart

The housing minister says she has already strengthened the bill in this regard at Stage 2.

She call on Mr Stewart to withdraw his amendments.

He presses them but they are defeated.

Government amendments in relation to statutory terms area also agreed to

The government's amendments in relation to statutory terms area also agreed to. 

Amendments relating to statutory terms agreed to

SNP MSP Adam Ingram sees his amendments relating to statutory terms agreed to. 

Government student accommodation amendments are passed

The government amendments on disapplication of provisions in relation to student accommodation are passed.

The Conservative amendments fall.

Landlords may need to adjust their business model to house students - Minister

Ms Burgess says she believes all tenants in the private rented sector should have the same rights and students should not be treated differently.

Margaret Burgess

The Minister says she recognises that some landlords may need to adjust their business model to accommodate students.

She says her amendments seek to make sure that only accommodation built solely for housing students should be exempt from provisions in the bill.