The Scottish Parliament has approved a new 3% rent cap for most private renters that will come into effect from 1 April 2023 for an initial six-month period with the option to extend for another six-month period if required.
These changes follow a temporarily freeze on rent increases for private and social tenants, and for student accommodation, which comes to an end on 31 March 2023.
The changes to the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) Act will mean that from 1 April 2023:
- If a private landlord chooses to increase a tenant’s rent mid-tenancy, the increase will be capped at 3%.
- Private landlords will alternatively be able to apply for a rent increase of up to 6% to help cover certain increases in costs in defined and limited circumstances.
- Enforcement of evictions will continue to be paused for up to six-months except in a number of specified circumstances.
- Increased damages for unlawful evictions of up to 36-months’ worth of rent will continue to apply.
The rent cap for student accommodation is to be suspended after the Scottish government recognised that this measure was having a limited impact on annual rents set on the basis of an academic year.
The Scottish Tenants' Rights Minister said:
“It is clear that many households in the private rented sector in particular continue to struggle, which is why we are capping in-tenancy rent increases in the private sector at 3% from next month, with safeguards in place recognising the effects the cost of living crisis may have on some landlords. Our restrictions on evictions will continue across all sectors, with the social sector rent cap being replaced with voluntary agreements from landlords to keep rents affordable.”