09 November 2022

Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) -Scotland Bill

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Landlords in Scotland may be aware that new legislation has been introduced to assist tenants with the cost of living crisis.

On October 6th 2022, Scottish Parliament passed the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Bill and it received Royal Assent on October 27th 2022.

The legislative changes include:

  • Restricting landlords from increasing rents on existing residential tenancies
  • Placing certain restrictions on evictions from residential tenancies

These changes apply to private residential tenancies under the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016, assured tenancies, short assured tenancies under the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988, Scottish secure tenancies, short Scottish secure tenancies under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 and student residential tenancies.

Rent Increases

The Act gives Scottish Ministers the power to set a cap on rent increases which they have currently set at zero – meaning no rent increases can be applied during a tenancy. However, there is currently no cap on increasing rents when advertising for new tenants.

It is expected these changes will be in place until March 2023 however the legislation includes provisions to maintain the cap for a further two – six month periods.

Protection from Eviction

The Act prohibits landlords from seeking possession of their property before March 2023.

Landlords can still serve notice on their tenants during this time and tenants may leave if they find alternative accommodation. A landlord can also apply to the tribunal for an eviction order however, the landlord is prevented from enforcing the eviction order until after the legislation has been lifted.

There are several circumstances where a landlord can still seek possession of their property. For example;

  • The landlord wishes to sell the property to alleviate poverty
  • The property is intended to be sold by the lender
  • The landlord wishes to move into the property to alleviate poverty
  • The property has been abandoned by the tenant
  • The tenant is no longer an employee
  • The tenant has accrued substantial rent arrears (6 months or more)
  • The tenant has engaged in criminal or anti-social behavior

A tenant may still choose to challenge an eviction on any of the above grounds and a landlord may be require to submit evidence to support the grounds for eviction.

Xenia Lettings are here to support our landlords during this time. If you require any further help or guidance, please contact us.

Further information can also be found by visiting: www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2022/10/contents/enacted

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