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Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 4th December 2013.

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Photo of Alex Johnstone Alex Johnstone Conservative

That is the “two wrongs make a right” defence, as Mr Brodie is looking at the record south of the border and claiming a marginal advantage in Scotland.

I will turn to issues that were raised in the debate. I was tremendously concerned by Patrick Harvie’s suggestions for things that should go into the Housing (Scotland) Bill. I am concerned about what is being said with regard to the private rented sector. That sector has become important in recent years, and it has done so in two ways. First, it has begun to provide social rented accommodation and, secondly, it has dealt with a huge number of younger people who, in the previous housing market, would have become home owners but who have not been able to find the money to get a mortgage in recent years and, consequently, have gone into the—perhaps more expensive—private rented properties that we have heard so much about.

The private rented sector has become vital. The landlords realise that reasonable light-touch regulation is the way ahead. However, I do not believe that that is what has been called for today. If we are going to have a successful private rented sector, co-operation between the landlords and the tenants is vital. Light-touch regulation is the only way to achieve that.