Scottish Parliament approve 3% rent cap for private tenants

The cap comes after a temporary rent price freeze in October last year.

Scottish Parliament approve 3% rent cap for private tenants iStock

Landlords in Scotland will be able to increase rent by no more than 3% from next month, the Scottish Government has confirmed.

The cap will come in on April 1 and private landlords will be able to apply for a rent increase of up to 6% to help cover certain increases in costs in defined and limited circumstances.

In October last year, legislation was introduced to temporarily freeze rent increases for private and social tenants, and for student accommodation with the cap set at 0% from September 6 until at least March 31, 2023.

Social landlords are required to keep any rent increases below inflation in 2023-24.

A moratorium on evictions will remain in place for at least a further six months except in specific circumstances.

The rent cap for student accommodation is to be suspended after the Scottish Government said it had a “limited impact” on annual rent set on the basis of the academic year.

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.”

Cosla has committed to keeping local authority rent increases to an average of no more than £5 a week.

Some housing associations in Glasgow and the West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations have reported planned increases averaging 6.1%.

But Aditi Jehangir, from the tenants union Living Rent, said a possible 3% increase was “still too high”.

She said: “A 3% rent increase is still too high.

“The vote today shows how the Scottish government is being pushed around by the landlord lobby at the detriment of tenants.

“Patrick Harvie said the rent freeze would remain in place until it is no longer proportionate.

“Tenants across Scotland will tell you the freeze is still proportionate. Bills are still soaring, costs aren’t coming down and any increase in wages is well below inflation – any rent increase is simply unaffordable.

“Tenants are facing the greatest cost-of-living crisis in a generation.

“We need strong government support and intervention or we risk a worsening crisis for everyone.

“Tenants need greater protections and controls to bring rents down and we need them now.”

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