Housing rent freeze confirmed

HOUSING rents are to be frozen in Scotland until at least March, in a bid to tackle the ‘cost-of-living crisis’, exacerbated by recent rises in energy prices.

The Scottish Parliament yesterday, as expected, confirmed plans announced at the beginning of last month, to give government ministers temporary powers to cap rents for private and social tenants, as well as for student accommodation. The emergency legislation – the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) Bill – also introduces a moratorium on evictions.

Says a Scottish Government announcement, here: “This cap, which applies to in-tenancy rent increases, has initially been set at zero per cent from September 6 2022 until at least March 31 2023. Ministers have the power to vary the rent cap while it is in force. The measures can be extended over two further six-month periods.”

It adds: “Enforcement of eviction actions resulting from the cost crisis are prevented over the same period except in a number of specified circumstances, and damages for unlawful evictions have been increased to a maximum of 36 months’ worth of rent.

“The temporary legislation balances the protections that are needed for tenants with some safeguards for those landlords who may also be impacted by the cost crisis.”

Picture credit: Place Design Scotland