SCOTLAND’S landlords are not “contributing anything useful to society,” a Scottish Green MSP has claimed. 

The comments from Ross Greer came after he was criticised by the UK’s trade body for estate agents in a social media row over rental properties.  

Earlier this week, the Green politician shared a newspaper article about landlords being forced to sell up due to high mortgage rates and reduced tax relief, with a "tiny violin" emoji.

The tweet sparked a furious reaction 

Conservative MSP Stephen Kerr said Mr Greer had “laughed at the idea of landlords going out of business, even though that means fewer rentals."

Roddy Dunlop, Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, wrote: "*Actual politician* attacks (a) tax-paying businesses and (b) available housing."

READ MORE: Rental market warning as landlords sell off properties due to 'anti-landlord rhetoric'

Timothy Douglas, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Propertymark told The Herald the comment was disappointing: “Ultimately, if the housing market loses landlords, then tenants will likely be displaced and could be forced into homelessness. 

"With this in mind, it is disappointing that we continue to see a lack of understanding from decision makers about the importance the private rented sector plays in housing the nation. 

"If governments want to tackle the housing crisis and really support people, then they need to make investment viable for those who have the means to provide homes for others.”

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According to the most recent figures available on the Scottish Government’s website, of the 2.6 million dwellings in Scotland, 58 per cent are owner occupied, 23% are social rented and 15% are private rented. 

The remaining 4% are vacant or second homes.

The Herald:

According to Propertymark, 68% of estate agents in Scotland have recorded an increase in notices to sell “due to ongoing legislative changes.” 

Ministers introduced a six-month rent cap as an emergency measure in October to help more than 300,000 tenants weather steep cost of living rises.

READ MORE: Controversial Holyrood rent freeze becomes law as Royal Assent granted

They said the decision by John Swinney in the recent budget to raise the Additional Dwelling Supplement from 4% to 6% would also have a knock-on impact on the housing crisis.

However, Mr Greer said the claim homes would disappear because landlords had sold up were “scare stories.”

He told The Herald: “Housing is a fundamental human right. Hoarding properties for profit isn't contributing anything useful to society and these landlord scare stories about homes coming off the market simply don't add up. 

“The properties owned by a landlord aren't demolished when that individual leaves the sector, they are sold.

"You only need to look at the obscene rise in rents across Scotland over the last decade to recognise how important the current temporary rent freeze and the coming system of permanent rent controls both are. 

“The Scottish Greens are exceptionally proud to be delivering these vital protections for tenants from within the Scottish Government.

"We are supporting the many families who are struggling through this cost of living crisis and fundamentally shifting the balance of power between exploitative landlords and their tenants."