Written by Emily Cranston
We published on our blog in October 2022 an article on The Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) Scotland Act 2022 (the Act). The Act brought in a number of temporary measures, including a private rent freeze, in a response to the cost of living crisis.
The Scottish Government announced on 18 January that it planned to amend the Act to include new powers.
Summary of the changes to the Act
The Act previously introduced a full rent freeze for private tenancies until 31 March 2023. Under the proposed amendments, landlords will be able to raise rents by up to 3%, although can only do this once between now and 30 September 2023.
Landlords can still apply to Rent Service Scotland to increase rents further, by up to 6%, if their reason for doing so falls into a narrow set of criteria to cover specified rising costs they might be seeing as landlords.
However, it is proposed that the existing rent freeze on student accommodation will expire on 31 March 2023, and this type of tenancy will no longer be subject to a cap.
There is no change proposed to the existing ban on evictions, which is to continue.
The above proposed changes are subject to the approval of Scottish Parliament. If approved by Scottish Parliament, the changes will be in force from 1 April to 30 September.
This announcement has been unpopular with some private landlords groups. On 23rd January it was reported that The Scottish Association of Landlords, Scottish Land and Estates and Propertymark have submitted a petition to the Court of Session in Edinburgh seeking a judicial review of the proposals.
The Scottish Government maintains the changes are needed to protect private tenants from landlords who might impose unaffordable rent hikes.
Minister confirms intention to cap rents at 3%