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Update on the rent freeze and eviction ban

Since the rent freeze was announced on 6 September 2022, the government has amended the legislation with changes set to come in at the end of March. Here is a quick update on the rent freeze and eviction ban. 

All information accurate as of March 2023. For up to date information here is the advice from the Scottish government for private tenants and here is the advice for social tenants.

Social housing tenants thrown under the bus

In January, the government announced that come April, the rent freeze would no longer apply to social housing. 

However as social housing rents are increased annually in April, the rent freeze never had any impact on social and council tenants.

Instead, social housing providers (the SFHA and WSHA) as well as local authorities have said to the government that they would keep rent increases to an average of 6.1% and below inflation. 

In practice, there is nothing preventing social landlords from hiking up rents higher than 6.1% to inflation which currently sits at 10%.

We want to understand and show the impacts of the rent increase to the government, if you are a social housing tenant get in touch so we can show the Scottish government the need for a freeze in social housing.

Social landlords are able to tell you of your increase from 26 February 2023 and they must give you four weeks notice.

PRS rents increase caped to 3%

In the Private Rented sector, the rent cap will increase from 0% to 3% meaning that from 1 April, landlords will be able to issue rent increase notices of up to 3%.

However, they can only do this if they have not increased your rent in the last 12 months. 

And they must give you three months notice before the rent increase can take effect. 

So any rent increase notices given on 1 April will only come into effect on 1 July.

However, landlords can increase your rent up to 6% (or 50% of their increased costs whichever is lower) if they can prove that their costs have gone up on their mortgage, certain insurance premiums and service charges. 

To do this, they still need to give you a valid rent increase notice, apply to the Rent Service Scotland and prove to a rent officer that their costs fit the relevant criteria. You can also appeal the rent officer’s decision by applying to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber).

Landlords are also able to increase your rent if:

  •  you live in a short assured tenancy where your contract has a rent increase process written into it; 
  • you live in a tenancy that started before 1989 (a regulated tenancy); 
  • you live with your landlord and have a lodger agreement; 
  • you live in an agricultural tenancy or 
  • you live in some other common law tenancies. 

If you live in student accommodation, after 31 March your landlord can increase your rent providing they follow the process in your contract.

The eviction ban

The eviction ban has been extended until at least 30 September 2023.However, it is important to note that even with the ban in place, your landlord can still send you a valid eviction notice and get an eviction order from a court or tribunal.

If the ban applies to you, your landlord cannot make you leave your home for 6 months after getting a court or tribunal order, or until 30 September 2023, whichever is sooner.The eviction ban applies to everyone renting from a private landlord or letting agency, council or housing association, or anyone in college or university halls or purpose built student accommodation.

However, the ban does not apply if you: 

  • live with your landlord; have stopped living in the property; 
  • have been evicted due to anti-social or criminal activity; 
  • have ended employment with your landlord; 
  • have six months of rent arrears or more if you rent from a private landlord*; 
  • have £2250 of rent arrears if you rent a social tenancy from the council or housing association*; 
  • your home needs to be demolished or renovated, 
  • rent a social tenancy from the council or a housing association

*Your landlord must try and help you before they evict you for rent arrears. The court or tribunal has to consider whether it is reasonable.

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