All you need to know about Scotland’s New Deal for Tenants

From new rights, to rent controls, this is everything you need to know about our New Deal for Tenants.

Scotland has a new Housing Bill!

The Housing (Tenant Protection and Homelessness Prevention) (Scotland) Bill will be a key milestone in the campaign to deliver a New Deal for Tenants and was a crucial part of the legislative agenda set out in the Bute House Agreement which brought the Scottish Greens into government for the first time.

Our New Deal for Tenants includes:

Eviction Protection for Tenants
This new bill will enhance tenants’ rights by including greater restrictions on evictions at all times of year, building on the protections introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic and in the emergency cost of living support in 2022.

Greater rights for Tenants
Tenants in both the private and public rented sectors can also expect to receive new rights allowing them to redecorate their homes, keep pets and have more flexibility when exiting joint tenancies.

Tackling illegal evictions
We are also ensuring those who are illegally evicted can claim up to 36 months of rent as compensation, more than ever before.

Rent Controls for Scotland
Finally, in our New Deal for Tenants, we will implement a system of long-term rent controls for Scotland. These will follow on from the emergency rent cap introduced during the cost of living crisis.

Scotland’s new housing bill will introduce a national system of mandatory assessment conditions, coupled with local controls.

Changes to rent adjudication will also apply nationally as will a new restriction on increasing rent in the first 12 months of tenancy.

Local controls will be delivered through Rent Control Areas which will limit the extent to which rents can rise – both within and between tenancies - according to a formula set out in regulations. This will mean the strongest rent control measures can be targeted to places like Edinburgh and Glasgow which have seen the highest rises in rent in recent years. 

Preventing Homelessness
The Bill also introduces measures to tackle homelessness in Scotland by introducing new duties for public bodies (such as health boards and the police) to find out about potential homelessness and to take action to head it off.

It will also extend the period in which a household can be considered as threatened with homelessness from two to six months, allowing relevant authorities to take action earlier. This will greatly increase the chances of councils being able to find suitable accommodation before anyone is made homeless and cut the number of families in particular who experience homelessness.

And finally, it will strengthen requirements for tenants experiencing domestic abuse, to ensure those who are most vulnerable in our society don’t become homeless.

All of these new rights and protections are only happening thanks to a deal that brought Scottish Greens into government and will mean, once it has gone through the parliamentary process, Scotland will continue to have the most robust tenants’ rights in the UK.