The detail of the Scottish Government’s proposals for the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act 2022 beyond 31 March have today (19th January 2023) been released.

We will be updating all our clients and home providers across Scotland on how it will affect them specifically, in addition to updating those on our research data mailing list in due course.

A high level summary

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; and
  • the rent cap for student accommodation will be suspended, recognising its limited impact on annual rents set on the basis of an academic year

Regulations have been laid before Parliament today in relation to the social and student accommodation sectors, following on from publication of the first report on the operation of the emergency Act.

“Whilst the removal of the 0% rent cap is welcomed and the uncertainty has been removed, for a period of time, if we are to recover the confidence of investors, we must see a serious dialogue with the government on future regulation of the private rented sector. The industry is keen and key to be part of the solution to the current housing crisis caused by chronic undersupply.

The removal of the rent cap on social housing must beg the question of whether it is appropriate to use emergency legislation for the purpose of intervening in the rental market when annualised rental increases are currently below that agreed by the Scottish Government for social housing and substantially below inflation.”

Gillian McLees - BTR Director and UKAA Scottish Chair

We will need to establish how the sector will respond; however we can share some initial thoughts of our client Get Living.

“The undersupply of housing of all tenures is well documented, in Scotland just as it is across the whole of the UK. At Get Living we are a huge advocate of Glasgow and its strength as a thriving commercial centre, which needs to be supported by more homes of commensurate quality. Whilst it remains our ambition to contribute to the stock of professionally managed private rental housing, in a safe and vibrant neighbourhood, the current policy of rent regulation means that we are in a position where we simply cannot guarantee investor support to progress our project of 823 new homes.’’

Rick De Blaby - Get Living

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