13 Jan 2023
The Scottish Government has yesterday provided an update on its approach for rent setting for 2023/24 in the private rented sector (PRS) and eviction protection across the rented sector in light of the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act 2022.
In a report to Parliament, it confirms that the zero percent rent cap will continue to apply to the PRS in Scotland as will the enhanced eviction protections across both the social rented sector and PRS.
In line with a statement made by Patrick Harvie MSP in December, the intention is to remove the rent cap from the social rented sector from the end of March.
The full report is available here.
Callum Chomczuk, national director at CIH Scotland said:
“We are disappointed about the decision of the Scottish Government to both maintain the rent control provision for the PRS and continue the extraordinary eviction protection measures across the whole rented sector.
“We remain concerned that the continuation of the rent cap in the PRS will have significant unintended consequences which will undermine tenants’ housing outcomes. This policy is likely to encourage landlords to increase rents between tenancies when they may not otherwise have done so. Additionally, it will drive some landlords out of the market, reducing the supply of privately rented accommodation available.
“The Scottish Government has strived to strike a balance between protecting tenant and recognising the need for investment in the social sector, we would encourage ministers to set clear parameters that give certainty to the PRS about under what circumstance a rent cap can be lifted.
“Equally social and private landlords deserve clarity under what circumstances normal eviction proceedings will return. In most cases landlords only evict tenants as a last resort and in extreme circumstance. Landlords and the courts are best placed to determine the validity and appropriateness of any eviction proceedings, rather than be subject to extraordinary protection measures.”
A CIH member exclusive briefing summarising the report is available here.