Out-Law News

March 2024 end date set for rent cap and evictions ban in Scotland

The eviction ban and cap on rent increases for the private rented sector are to be retained in Scotland until 31 March 2024 at the latest, under Scottish government plans.

The minister for tenants’ rights, Patrick Harvie, confirmed that regulations have been laid before the Scottish Parliament to extend Part 1 of The Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act 2022 for a further six months from the current end date of 30 September 2023, as it is “necessary and proportionate” to protect rented sector households from cost-of-living pressures.

Under the regulations, landlords would continue to be liable for increased damages for unlawful evictions of up to 36 months’ worth of rent. Private landlords will, however, still be able to apply for rent increases of up to 6% to help cover certain increases in costs in a specified time period where these costs can be evidenced.

If approved by parliament, the rent cap and eviction protections would ‘sunset’ after 31 March 2024. Harvie said the Scottish government “is looking at how to transition out of emergency measures, and continue to work with stakeholders to deliver rental sector reform”.

Martin Devine of Pinsent Masons said: “As more evidence becomes available on the effects these measures are having on the private rented sector, it will be interesting to see the extent to which that is taken into account as part of the Scottish government’s ongoing assessment of the need for these emergency measures, and what that may lead to in the future.”

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