MSPs vote to extend Scotland's rent cap for up to six months

Most landlords will be limited to raising rents by a maximum of 3% in a 12-month period.

MSPs have voted to extend Scotland’s rent cap for up to six months.

The measure limits the amount most landlords can increase rent by to 3% within a 12-month period.

It was first introduced in October 2022 alongside protection against evictions and was previously given a six-month extension up to September 30, 2023.

On Wednesday, the Scottish Parliament approved the final extension to the policy which will now stay in place until March 2024 at the latest.

Private landlords are able to apply for an increase of up to 6% to help cover increased costs but will have to prove this to the Government.

Enforcement of evictions will also be paused for a further six months for most tenants.

Tenants’ rights minister Patrick Harvie said the move will help provide stability for those tenants.

He said: “It’s almost a year since we first introduced these measures to support tenants and the cost of living crisis is still very much with us.

“While essential costs for households remain high, these measures ensure the majority of tenants have much-needed stability in their rental payments while they keep the same tenancy.   

“We’ve also included safeguards for landlords. The option of increasing rents by 6% in specified circumstances is supporting landlords to meet some of the increased costs associated with their let property.

“Meanwhile, the social housing sector has agreed their rents in consultation with their tenants.”

The Scottish Greens MSP said longer-term rent controls will be introduced in the future.

“We will continue to keep them under review to make sure they are justified and proportionate based on the pressures both tenants and landlords are experiencing,” he said.

“Scotland leads the way in the UK in both immediate and long-term action to develop a well-regulated rented sector which works for both tenants and landlords.

“We will also introduce a Housing Bill to deliver a New Deal for Tenants, including the introduction of long-term rent controls for the private rented sector.”

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