Up to 300 families a year are affected by landlords of all types - such as private landlords - defaulting on their mortgages, it has been suggested.

Scottish housing minister Alex Neil said that often tenants end up on the street, even though it is not their fault that the mortgage was not paid, reports BBC Scotland.

His comments came as he announced that new measures to help tenants who fall victim to such situations are being considered by the Scottish government.

The politician revealed that a discussion paper will be launched later this week, detailing how tenants could be given a period of protection that gives them a chance to find another private landlord's residence to rent or somewhere completely different to live.

"I would like to give them the opportunity to appear in the repossession hearing to give their case to the sheriff, so the sheriff can ensure he is dealing fairly with anyone adversely affected by the repossession through no fault of their own,"said Mr Neil.

With unemployment rising to record levels in recent months, private landlords are being warned about the opposite scenario whereby the tenant cannot pay rent.

Various private rented sector organisations have urged landlords to take out rent guarantee insurance to protect themselves in the current economic climate.

Written by Claire Doyle

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