MSP hails Scotland’s leading role over rent protection for private tenants

Scotland is leading the UK for tenant protections.

Scottish Green MSPs have welcomed new regulations to protect private tenants against big rent hikes next year, saying that they show Scotland is way ahead of the rest of the UK on private rent reform.

The new regulations follow the rent cap which was introduced by Scottish Green Minister Patrick Harvie using emergency legislation in 2022. It caps private rent rises at 3% for most tenancies, providing support and stability for thousands of tenants. 

The cap will continue until March 31 and continues to apply to rent increase notices issued until then. This final date is built into the legislation and cannot be extended further.

Under the new regulations, laid in parliament today, tenants must be given three months notice of any rent rise, which they will be empowered to challenge through a new system of adjudication that ensures rent increases cannot simply rise to whatever the market dictates.

Scottish Greens housing spokesperson, Ariane Burgess MSP, said: “The rent cap delivered with Scottish Greens in government has provided much-needed support and stability for tenants during the worst period of the cost of living crisis. 

“No other part of the UK has come close to offering the protection to private tenants seen here in Scotland.

“With the emergency legislation having to come to an end in March, these new regulations will shield tenants from the cliff edge of sharp rent hikes, and will enable them to challenge unfair rises. 

“The new rules will act as a bridge out of the emergency period and while the Scottish Government puts the finishing touches to its housing bill, which I expect soon. 

“That bill will put in place long term rent controls and other new tenancy rights and cement Scotland’s leading role in the UK on radical renting reform.”