The Scottish Government has announced that it has put rent caps in place, to protect tenants and ensure that increases in private rent to not get out of hand.
With private tenant protection measures being approved by members of the Scottish Parliament today, landlords will now face a cap of 3% on increases in rent as well as restrictions on the enforcement of evictions.
As these changes come into action, from the 1st April 2023:
- Private landlords will be restricted from increasing rent by more than 3%, should they choose to increase the rent mid-tenancy.
- In defined and limited circumstances, private landlords will be able to apply for the cap to be raised to 6%, should they need to cover certain increases in costs.
- Eviction enforcement will remain paused for up to six months, unless meeting a number of specific circumstances.
- There will be a continued application of increased damages for unlawful evictions, with this remaining at up to 36 months worth of rent.
All of the above measures have been extended until the 30th September, as long as they remain necessary for the protection of tenants. There is also an option for this to be extended for another six months, should it be required.
Tenants' Rights Minister Patrick Harvie said:
“Our emergency legislation has given tenants across the rented sector additional protection as we continue to live through these challenging and uncertain economic times.
“It is clear that many households in the private rented sector in particular continue to struggle, which is why we are capping in-tenancy rent increases in the private sector at 3% from next month, with safeguards in place recognising the effects the cost of living crisis may have on some landlords. Our restrictions on evictions will continue across all sectors, with the social sector rent cap having been replaced with voluntary agreements from landlords to keep rents affordable.
“We will continue to keep these measures under review, ensuring they remain necessary and proportionate to the challenges at hand.”
The Scottish government has also previously announced that the rent freeze in the social sector has been replaced, with an agreement in place with landlords to ensure that any rent increases for 2023-24 are well below inflation.
The rent cap for student accommodation is also to be suspended, with a recognition that it has had limited impact on the annual rents that are set around the academic year.