Navigating the Changes to Scotland's Private Rental Sector Rent Restrictions

25th Mar 2024
Kevin Fraser
Navigating the Changes to Scotland's Private Rental Sector Rent Restrictions  - D. J. Alexander

The landscape of the Scottish Private Rental Sector is set to undergo significant change as the measures introduced by the Cost of Living Act, including the current rent cap, near their expiration. Since the Act's implementation, landlords have been operating under a set rent increase limit for existing tenancies, with a conditional increase instituted in April 2023. However, as of 1st April 2024, substantial revisions  in the legislation will be implemented regarding rental increases. 

Understanding the Forthcoming Adjustments 

From April 2024, landlords will be able to propose rent increases without the present constraints, resonating with market trends. Should concerns arise regarding proposed rent levels, tenants can engage in dialogue with their landlord or agent or, alternatively, seek arbitration from a rent officer at Rent Service Scotland or the First-tier Tribunal. 

In situations where the proposed rent raise faces opposition, a new mechanism will take effect—a tapering system. This approach caps increases at 6% if the market rate exceeds the current rent, aligning any further rises with market standards, up to a maximum of 12%. The intricacies of the tapering system permit an additional rent increase for each percentage point above the existing rent. 

Eviction Moratorium Updates 

Concurrent with the rental cap adjustments, the Eviction Moratorium, which determined a pause on enforcements, is also concluding on 31st March. Landlords possessing an eviction order decreed by the tribunal post 30th September can once again instruct sheriff officers to enforce said orders. 

In Summary 

The transition period leading up to April 2024 is crucial for both landlords and tenants within Scotland's Private Rental Sector. Staying informed and prepared will be key to seamless adaptability to the new rental landscape. We encourage all parties to consult the guidelines and engage with professionals where necessary.