THE rent cap and ban on evictions has been extended for a final six months following a vote by MSPs.

The emergency legislation the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) Act was introduced in October 2022 and initially froze private rents.

It was then amended to allow a 3% rent increase in a 12-month period, with landlords able to apply for a 6% increase where they could prove that the increase was needed.

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The rent cap will now stay in place until March 2024 at the latest, the final extension of the legislation.

It comes after the Scottish Government announced rent controls will be contained in the Housing Bill set to be put before the Scottish Parliament this term.

The extension will also pause evictions for most tenants for the next six months, except in specific circumstances.

It will also maintain increased damages for any unlawful evictions, where tenants could claim up to 36 months' worth of rent.

The National: Patrick Harvie

The cap does not apply to social rent tenants who have different circumstances, with rent increases kept below inflation. 

Patrick Harvie (above), Tenants’ Rights Minister, said: “It’s almost a year since we first introduced these measures to support tenants and the cost of living crisis is still very much with us. While essential costs for households remain high, these measures ensure the majority of tenants have much-needed stability in their rental payments while they keep the same tenancy.

“We’ve also included safeguards for landlords.

“The option of increasing rents by 6% in specified circumstances is supporting landlords to meet some of the increased costs associated with their let property. Meanwhile, the social housing sector has agreed their rents in consultation with their tenants.

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“This is the final time these measures can be extended. We will continue to keep them under review to make sure they are justified and proportionate based on the pressures both tenants and landlords are experiencing.

“Scotland leads the way in the UK in both immediate and long-term action to develop a well-regulated rented sector which works for both tenants and landlords.

“We will also introduce a Housing Bill to deliver a New Deal for Tenants, including the introduction of long-term rent controls for the private rented sector.”