The purpose of the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) Bill (“the Bill”) is to respond to the emergency situation caused by the impact of the cost crisis on those living in the rented sector in Scotland by introducing a temporary rent freeze, temporary moratorium on evictions, and increased damages for unlawful evictions until at least 31 March 2023 with additional powers to temporarily reform rent adjudication. The intended effect of the Bill is to:
1. protect tenants by stabilising their housing costs;
2. where possible, during the cost crisis, reduce impacts on the health and wellbeing of tenants caused by being evicted and/or being made homeless by giving them more time to find alternative accommodation; and
3. seek to avoid tenants being evicted from the rented sector by a landlord wanting to raise rents between tenancies during the temporary measures and reduce unlawful evictions, through the complementary measures of a moratorium on evictions and raising the level of damages that may be awarded.
As this is emergency legislation, it is intended that a three-monthly reporting requirement will be included in the legislation, to demonstrate the need for provisions to either continue or expire, where appropriate, and based on evidence at the relevant time.
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