Private tenants should challenge rent hikes issued before 31 March

With Scottish Greens in government we are working to protect Scotland's tenants.

Private tenants being hit with high rent rise demands before the end of March have been urged to use their rights and challenge landlords.

Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer pressed the issue with First Minister Humza Yousaf at First Minister’s Questions today, where he warned some tenants were receiving rent increase notices ahead of the emergency rent cap ending on 31 March.

The 3% cap  - or 6% in a limited number of cases - applies until the end of March. It also applies to rent increase notices before then, even those which don’t kick in until after that date.

Mr Greer said: “Some tenants watching today may be receiving rent increase notices right now which are well above the cap of 3%. 

“So can the First Minister reassure tenants that the rent cap remains fully in place until 31st March and that any tenant receiving a cap-busting rent increase notice before the end of March should challenge that rise? 

“And what can the Scottish Government do to make sure tenants know about their rights and are able to use them?”

The First Minister agreed with  Mr Greer, highlighting that a publicity campaign was being rolled out to ensure tenants and landlords are clear on the new rules, including a calculator allowing tenants to check whether the increase proposed by their landlord would be permitted.

Mr Greer also highlighted how Scotland’s tenant protections are far ahead of anything else in the UK – a lead role set to continue when long term rent controls are proposed in a new housing bill being introduced soon by Tenants Rights Minister and Scottish Greens co-leader, Patrick Harvie.

It comes a day after Mr Harvie laid new regulations in the Scottish Parliament to ensure Scotland continues to have the most robust protections for private renters in the UK once the emergency rent cap ends on 31 March.