Rents frozen and evictions prevented.
Emergency legislation giving tenants increased protection from rent increases and evictions during the cost of living crisis has become law after receiving Royal Assent.
The Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) Act gives Ministers temporary power to cap rent increases for private and social tenants, as well as for student accommodation.
This applies to in-tenancy rent increases, with the cap set at 0% from 6 September 2022 until at least 31 March 2023, effectively freezing rents for most tenants during this period.
Enforcement of eviction actions resulting from the cost crisis are prevented over the same period except in a number of specified circumstances, and damages for unlawful evictions have been increased to a maximum of 36 months’ worth of rent.
Tenants’ Rights Minister Patrick Harvie said:
“Many people who rent their homes are facing real difficulties as a result of the cost of living crisis.
“While bills are rising for all of us, many tenants are more exposed as they are more likely to be on low incomes or living in poverty than other people.
“These measures aim to give tenants greater confidence about their housing costs and the security of a stable home.
“Some landlords may be feeling the effects of this crisis too.
“So while the primary purpose is to protect tenants, the emergency measures also include safeguards for those landlords who may be impacted.
“For anyone struggling with their rent, I would urge you to contact your landlord, an advice organisation or a tenants’ union to get help as early as possible.”