Calculate your rents and know your rights

Over the last 18 months, through the most acute period of the cost of living crisis, Scottish Greens have led the way in protecting private tenants from rent rises and evictions.

Nowhere else in the UK has provided that protection. But as the emergency measures have to, by law, come to an end on March 31, the party is already looking ahead to what is next. 

The next step will be a new tenant protection and homelessness bill being introduced to the Scottish Parliament very soon. That is a vital bit of work led by Scottish Green minister Patrick Harvie. 

It will bring in long term rent controls and new rights for tenants and deliver on our New Deal for Tenants.

Thanks to the work so far, Scotland fortunately has the strongest tenants rights in the UK already. But more is needed, people are struggling and any increase in costs is difficult. 

That is why, alongside those big long term changes in the law coming very soon, the Scottish Greens are also determined to continue to protect tenants.

The emergency rent freeze has to end by law on March 31. The new housing bill bringing all those tougher tenants rights won't be in place by then and even then it has to get passed by the Scottish Parliament and rolled out. 

While we’d all like new rights now, it’s important that new rules stand up to the legal challenge which will inevitably come. That means getting the detail and the process right 

So, in the meantime, to tackle the risk of landlords seeking to put their rents up to sky-high levels after 18 months of being capped, new safeguards have been brought in give tenants the right to limit big hikes in rents.

It doesn't mean rents won't go up. It does mean tenants can challenge it by knowing what your rent should be. Knowing your rights as a tenant is key to all of this, and today Patrick has launched an online tool that makes working out the numbers easy.

There's also a checklist of other rights to know in order to make sure you are safe, aren't paying too much and some of the rules around what a landlord can and can't do. If in doubt contact Rent Service Scotland or Citizens Advice network.

  • Landlords and letting agents must be registered to let out a property - only use registered ones
  • You can't be asked to move out of your property without notice
  • Your home must be maintained and repaired by your landlord who also has to do a pre-tenancy check
  • Landlords have to give you notice before accessing your property
  • If your tenancy began after Dec 1, 2017 landlords must give three months' notice of any rent increase
  • They can also only increase the rent once every 12-months 

You can find more information on renters rights at the Scottish Government website.