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Rent Control architect threatens new package of ‘reforms’

The politician widely regarded as being the architect of rent controls in Scotland says he will shortly present a wider package of reforms for the private rental sector.

Patrick Harvie, a Green Party politician appointed as Minister for Tenants’ Rights in the otherwise-SNP dominated Scottish Government, introduced a rent cap and other controls in 2022. 

The 2022 Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act implemented a rent cap originally set at 0 per cent before going up to 3.0 per cent. Scottish ministers then voted to extend the powers available to them until September 30 2023, and again until March 31 this year.  


From April 1 - the start of next week - the cap is being updated: tenants must still be given the normal three months’ notice of any rent rise, but it’s going to be easier for tenants to challenge what they may consider ‘unreasonable’ rent rises. 

And from April 1 the rent adjudication process will be changed so that choices must be based on one of the following three comparators:  1. Open market rent; 2. A landlord’s proposed rental increase; or 3. A new taper calculation that will specify a maximum ‘reasonable’ increase for that tenancy.  

Tapering would only apply if a landlord’s intended rent increase was deemed unreasonable, and it would be determined by a percentage that would apply to such cases.  

Calculations for each individual situation would be determined by the gap between the current rate of rent and the open market value of similar tenancies in matching properties. The tapering process ensures that there is an upper limit based on the highest percentage for adjudicated rents.  

However, if that is not complicated enough, Harvie has written in the Glasgow Times that new initiatives are on the horizon.

He says: “The Scottish Government will soon publish proposals to deliver on our New Deal for Tenants which we set out in 2021.

“This will include important action to stop unfair evictions and new rights to allow tenants to make their house a home: from simple things like giving the right to keep pets and decorate, to greater penalties for illegal evictions as well as a national system of rent controls.

“It’s a package of reform that I believe will work for tenants, but which will also support those good, responsible landlords who want to provide secure, high-quality homes at a fair cost. Across Europe, well-regulated renting goes hand in hand with more investment.”

Since Harvie introduced rent caps in Scotland a property development firm - Get Living - has dropped a proposed £200m investment for 1,500 homes in Glasgow, specifically because of the controls. 

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    Right to decorate and have pets? Are there any PRS landlords left in Scotland?

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    Right to decorate is wrong because tenants can paint walls in a really dark colour - and that can be very difficult to correct.

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    Who has the power to deem what is reasonable?


    NOT the landlord.

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    Exactly, time to sell up, bite the bullet and retire , didn’t want to be a social worker anyway

  • James Scollard

    Property development firm pulling out of building new homes, decreasing supply.
    Why do MPs do the exact opposite of what is actually needed?

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    Because they only read Marxism at university, have no experience of reality ,living on fat government wages until their fat government pensions kick in


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