Scotland: In order to tackle the increasing house rents in Scotland, a Scottish property firm has entered into a partnership with a local blockchain startup to create a Private Rented Sector (PRS) database.
It was confirmed by Citylets, a property letting portal that it will be creating a ledger with Wallet.Services to tackle the rising rents in the residential sector of Scotland. With this solution, the company aims at providing a useful tool so as to provide relevant information procured from the letting agents which will enable the local councils in getting their area designated as a ‘rent pressure zone’ (RPZ) through Scottish ministers.
As per the new renting law of Scotland, the RPZ applications need to be detailed. The applications must contain market evidence which can prove that rents are actually hiked and it is problem for the tenants. Apart from this, the application should also prove that it is really difficult for the local council to provide housing or it is becoming difficult for him to subsidize the cost of housing as a result.
After all this procedure and matching all the criteria the Government of Scotland grants the RPZ status to the concerned area. After getting the RPZ status, there is a cap on the annual rental increase rate for the existing tenants in that area.
Although, it would be difficult for the Scottish government to find the accurate evidential data as of now, as they are looking forward to regulate a very large housing industry. Notably, the PRS of the country is extremely politicized and the new regulations are coming up rapidly, without taking a note of the concern of its enforcement.
Above all, the PRS law of Scotland will be enforced to the rest of the UK as well.
Blockchain – The Only Solution
The property letting firm has proposed the blockchain technology as the only solution to this. It says that blockchain will prove to be a database which would be recording the changes in the rent which is been faced by the tenants in the country and will present it in a shareable data form. The firm also said that the data can be used by both the letting industry as well as local councils. This would help them in providing proper evidence to support their RPZ applications to the Scottish government.
Explaining the need of cross-organization data sharing solution ahead of regulations coming for letting agents on December 1, Thomas Ashdown, the Managing Director at Citylets, told CCN, “Ultimately we would hope the Scottish Government would be consumers of the data for far-reaching decisions based on the data as they seek to regulate this now large housing segment.”
He further added, “There are number of responsibilities on the local government regarding the planning of local housing. Therefore, the data should be accurate, trusted, authoritative and incorruptible. Hence, our aim is to create a blockchain solution to do the things and we found after extensive discussions with the local government that there is no better solution to the problem.”