In January, Patrick Harvie MSP set out to Parliament the Scottish Government’s proposals for the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act 2022 beyond 31 March. 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;
- the rent cap for student accommodation will be suspended, recognising its limited impact on annual rents set based on an academic year.
These temporary measures are intended to be extended to 30 September, provided they remain necessary, with the option to extend for another six-month period if required. As announced in December 2022, the social sector rent freeze is being replaced with agreements from landlords to keep any rent increase for 2023-24 well below inflation. The first report on the implementation of the legislation, covering the period 28 October to 31 December 2022, was also published in January. Read it here.