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Tenant Protection Act becomes law in Scotland

The Scottish Government has confirmed that emergency legislation to protect tenants from rent increases and evictions has become law, having received Royal Assent.

As previously reported by Public Sector Executive, the act temporarily gives ministers the power to cap rent increases for tenants in the private and social rented sectors, as well as for student accommodation. This will also apply to rent increases in-tenancy, effectively freezing rents for most until at least 31st March 2023.

Eviction actions as a result of the cost of living crisis are also prevented during the same period, except for specified circumstances, whilst the damages available for unlawful evictions has been increased to a maximum of 36 months rent.

Patrick Harvie, Tenants’ Rights Minister, said:

“Many people who rent their homes are facing real difficulties as a result of the cost of living crisis. While bills are rising for all of us, many tenants are more exposed as they are more likely to be on low incomes or living in poverty than other people.

“These measures aim to give tenants greater confidence about their housing costs and the security of a stable home.

“Some landlords may be feeling the effects of this crisis too. So while the primary purpose is to protect tenants, the emergency measures also includes safeguards for those landlords who may be impacted.

“For anyone struggling with their rent, I would urge you to contact our landlord, an advice organisation or a tenants’ union to get help as early as possible.”

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