Scottish Government unveils its rent freeze legislation

Scottish Government unveils its rent freeze legislation

10:04 AM, 4th October 2022, About 2 years ago 9

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The Scottish Government has unveiled its emergency legislation that ‘seeks to increase protection for tenants from rent rises and eviction action’ during the cost-of-living crisis.

If approved, the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Bill will give Ministers temporary power to cap rents for private and social tenancies’

The cap will be set at 0% – effectively freezing rents – from 6 September 2022 until at least 31 March 2023.

The Bill includes the further power to maintain or vary the rent cap over two further six-month periods.

However, the legislation has been slammed by the Scottish Association of Landlords who say that political rhetoric is harming the country’s private rental sector.

Eviction actions will be prevented

Enforcement of eviction actions resulting from the cost crisis will be prevented over the same period except in several ‘specified circumstances’.

Damages for unlawful evictions will be increased to a maximum of 36 months’ worth of rent.

These measures will also apply to students in college or university halls of residence or other types of purpose-built accommodation.

Legislation includes safeguards for private sector landlords

The legislation includes safeguards for private sector landlords, allowing them to apply to increase rent to partially cover a limited number of specific costs including:

  • Increased mortgage interest payments on the property they are letting
  • An increase in landlords’ insurance
  • Or increases in service charges paid as part of a tenancy, subject to an overall limit.

Safeguards for both social and private sector landlords, as well as providers of college and university halls and other purpose-built student accommodation, are included in the Bill’s provisions on evictions.

‘Emergency situation demanding an emergency response’

Scotland’s Tenants’ Rights Minister, Patrick Harvie, said: “The cost-of-living crisis is an emergency situation demanding an emergency response.

“Even as energy, food bills and other day-to-day basics become more expensive, today’s legislation freezing rents and protecting tenants from eviction will give tenants stability in their homes and confidence about their housing costs.”

He added: “People who rent their homes are more likely to live in poverty or be on low incomes than homeowners.

“As such they are particularly exposed to rising prices, and it is imperative that we bring in support for them urgently.”

‘Some tenants are being hit with large rent increases’

Mr Harvie went on: “We know that many landlords have been doing what they can to protect their tenants, but some tenants are being hit with large rent increases that are hard to justify.

“This legislation aims to protect all tenants from substantial increases, balancing the protections that are urgently needed for tenants with safeguards for those landlords who may also be impacted by the cost crisis.”


More information:

The Scottish Association of Landlords reply: Anti-landlord rhetoric and rent freeze legislation slammed by SAL.

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Dylan Morris

10:52 AM, 4th October 2022, About 2 years ago

Absolutely ridiculous.

northern landlord

11:05 AM, 4th October 2022, About 2 years ago

A few months ago Eddie Hughes one of the now ex housing ministers said there would be no rent controls in England. Luckily for Landlords the Government doesn't do U turns on policy. Hang on..........Wait a minute!

Chris @ Possession Friend

12:09 PM, 4th October 2022, About 2 years ago

So its only Tenants that the Scottish Govt seek to protect from inflation ? ( as if that was practically achievable without being discriminatory and challengingly - illegal. -

What about the rest - majority of the population !
Does Kranky propose a law to stop Building societies increasing householders mortgage payments
( don't laugh, she started it )


12:14 PM, 4th October 2022, About 2 years ago

Harvie added: “People who rent their homes are more likely to live in poverty or be on low incomes than homeowners."

With mortgage interest rates going up every month , "owners " could end up losing everything, remember the bank has a first charge over the property until its paid off.
Looks like this Clown Harvie will be wrong once again.
Sturgeon has given him this poison chalice, if it goes well it will be the Scottish nasty party crowing , if it goes tits up wee tweed clad Clown harvie will be rolled out to the chopping block .Landlords really do need a association thats on their side ,Currently we have no credible voice .

Monty Bodkin

12:21 PM, 4th October 2022, About 2 years ago

Andrew Jack from Belvoir Edinburgh:
“The current situation is incredibly difficult for tenants.

“We recently released two flats to the market, and within 48 hours had received over 1000 enquiries for each of them from potential tenants.”

Jireh Homes

15:10 PM, 4th October 2022, About 2 years ago

Headlines are Rent Freeze, but much more disconcerting and damaging is the freeze on evictions, with the few exceptions (other than abandonment) difficult to evidence and thus challenging to pass FTT. Written to local and Regional MSPs with lack of empathy from SNP as to the fair balance on landlord rights.


17:20 PM, 4th October 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris @ Possession Friend at 04/10/2022 - 12:09
...and repossessions for defaulters.

David Todd

19:13 PM, 4th October 2022, About 2 years ago

Political posturing that does more harm than good to an already fragile Private Rented Sector. Plus there is already legislation in place where if a tenant is unhappy with a rent increase they can go to the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) and the Rent Officer who can decide if an increase is justified. Rather than deal with the real issue that is the massive shortage of rental properties or affordable housing lets force investment and Landlords out the sector. Lose/ Lose for everyone looking to rent or buy as the money moves elsewhere.

Gavin Putland

6:35 AM, 5th October 2022, About 2 years ago

What's better than rent control? A tax on vacant lots and unoccupied buildings. While rent control makes it less attractive to supply accommodation, a vacant-property tax makes it less attractive NOT to!

Now here's the kicker: If you're a commercial property investor, a vacant-property tax in nearby residential areas RAISES the value of your property by keeping it supplied with prospective customers and workers. Moreover, the desired *avoidance* of the vacant-property tax would initiate economic activity, expanding the bases of other taxes and allowing their rates to be reduced, so the rest of us—including business operators, and landlords with tenants—would pay LESS tax!

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