The Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act 2022 was introduced in response to the emergency situation caused by the impact of the costs crisis on those living in the rented sector. This brought a temporary rent freeze and a temporary moratorium on evictions, along with increased damages for unlawful evictions until at least 31 March 2023. See here for more information.
Subject to the approval of Parliament, changes to the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) Act will mean that from 1 April 2023:
- if landlords choose to increase private rents they will be capped at 3%;
- the safeguard for private landlords will be amended, allowing them to apply for increases of up to 6% to help cover certain increases in costs in defined and limited circumstances;
- enforcement of evictions will continue to be prevented for all tenants except in a number of specified circumstances;
- increased damages for unlawful evictions of up to 36 months’ worth of rent will continue to be applicable;
- the rent cap for social sector accommodation will be expired, following a voluntary agreement being reached on an agreed approach to rent setting for 2023/24 that ensures that rents remain affordable but still support continued investment in the sector; and
- the rent cap for student accommodation will be suspended, recognising its limited impact on annual rents set on the basis of an academic year
The full regulations are available on the Government website here.
The coalition of Scottish Land & Estates (SLE) and the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) are continuing to lobby the government on behalf of private landlords and intend to proceed with a petition for Judicial Review of the Cost of Living (Tenants Protection) (Scotland) Act.
The Judicial Review application seeks to argue that the Act is unlawful because it breaches the rights of property owners under the European Convention on Human Rights, which UK lawmakers are still required to comply with post-Brexit. Further details can be found on the SLE website here.