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Rent freeze fast-tracked and may last much longer than expected

Emergency legislation containing a private sector rent freeze is to be debated by Scottish politicians this week - and the surprise is that the freeze may last a year longer than expected. 

The Tenants’ Rights minister in the Scottish Government - the Green Party’s Patrick Harvie - says: “The cost-of-living crisis is an emergency situation demanding an emergency response. Even as energy, food bills and other day-to-day basics become more expensive, today’s legislation freezing rents and protecting tenants from eviction will give tenants stability in their homes and confidence about their housing costs.

“People who rent their homes are more likely to live in poverty or be on low incomes than homeowners. As such they are particularly exposed to rising prices, and it is imperative that we bring in support for them urgently.


“We know that many landlords have been doing what they can to protect their tenants, but some tenants are being hit with large rent increases that are hard to justify. This legislation aims to protect all tenants from substantial increases, balancing the protections that are urgently needed for tenants with safeguards for those landlords who may also be impacted by the cost crisis.”

If approved by Scottish members of parliament this week, the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Bill will give ministers temporary power to cap rents for private and social tenancies, with this cap set at 0% – effectively freezing rents – from tomorrow until at least March 31 2023, and possibly for a year even beyond that. 

Enforcement of eviction actions resulting from the cost crisis will be prevented over the same period except in a number of specified circumstances. 

Damages for unlawful evictions will be increased to a maximum of 36 months’ worth of rent. These measures will also apply to students in college or university halls of residence or other types of purpose-built accommodation.

There’s been widespread opposition from across the industry to the freeze and eviction ban.

A statement from the Scottish Property Federation says: “Housing providers are not responsible for the cost-of-living crisis but have been singled out by the Scottish Government’s proposals that miss the critical need to attract new investment to the sector. The only way that pressure will be reduced on the rented sector in Scotland is by increasing the supply of new, well maintained and energy efficient homes for rent. New housing must become the policy priority, not blunt instruments singling out landlords, many of whom work hard to support their tenants. 

“We call on the Scottish Government to recognise the vital contribution that the rented sector makes to communities across Scotland and to support those that are looking to fund and develop new homes here. Support must now be offered to housing providers affected by any withdrawal of rent resulting from the proposed moratorium, they too are impacted by the upwards pressure on costs and rising interest rates.” 

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    So Scotland has a Tenants’ Rights Minister? I don’t suppose there is a Landlords’ Rights Minister.


    Why would there be Fed up, we don’t have any!


    As landlords we are in a position of power. As a tenant you have much less power, and the power that you do have is because of hard won victories like deposit protection. As a tenant, you can be booted out of your home because someone else decides to boot you out. A bad tenant means a house needs repaired. A bad landlord means lives get ruined. So, no, you don't need a landlord's rights minister, you're already financially secure, legally protected, and quite capable of selling up doing something other than being a landlord if it's so hard for you

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    Welcome to the Dictatorship, that is Scotland. A once friendly, collective welcoming nation that has been divided, dictated to and has some of the worst track records in Europe. I was once proud to say I was Scottish, but sadly no longer.

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    @ john balls - try reading the article and the Scottish proposals. You will not be able to "boot them out" even if you want to sell up.

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    John. Ball
    No way are you a landlord!


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