Scottish rent freeze to be fast tracked

Scottish rent freeze to be fast tracked

The Scottish government has introduced emergency legislation in response to the cost of living crisis, aimed at freezing most rents until the end of March 2023.

The bill, if passed, will place a temporary moratorium on evictions for six months and will introduce a rent cap in most circumstances. 

Exceptions to this apply, and will include situations where a landlord faces increased mortgage interest payments, increased property costs, and some insurance costs. 

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In cases where exceptions apply, landlords will be capped from increasing rents by more than 3 per cent. 

The existing protections for tenants in Scotland that only allow a landlord to raise rents once every 12 months will still apply.  

This means that an application to raise rent for certain costs can only be made if the rent has not increased for 12 months.

The rent cap will have a retroactive effect, whereby any rent increase notices issued after 6 September 2022 will be void, unless they are covered by an exception.

The bill also sets out an increase to the damages which can be awarded in cases where a landlord carries out an unlawful eviction. 

Evidence on the bill is being heard today by Members of the Scottish Parliament on the Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee.