Cost of living: rent and eviction

Measures to help people impacted by the cost crisis, including rent freeze criteria.


Introduction

We have now introduced the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection)(Scotland) Bill (‘the Bill’) to the Scottish Parliament. The Scottish Parliament will consider the Bill this week.

This means that there is a chance that some of the information on this page may change. We will update the information here as soon as we can if that happens.

This page is intended to provide information about the purpose of the Bill. The Scottish Government cannot give specific advice for your individual circumstances. If you are unsure about how the new measures might apply to you, you may find it helpful to seek advice from an independent advice organisation as detailed below.

Reasons for these emergency temporary measures

The purpose of the Bill is to respond to the emergency situation caused by the impact of the cost crisis on people who rent their home in Scotland.

We intend that the measures in the Bill will:

  • protect tenants by stabilising their housing costs
  • 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
  • where possible prevent negative impacts on the health and wellbeing of tenants which might be caused by being evicted or being made homeless at a time when they are already struggling because of the cost crisis

In order to do this, the Bill will put in place:

  • a temporary cap on rent increases
  • a temporary moratorium on evictions (a pause on enforcement of an eviction order or decree, similar to what was in place in response to the Covid-19 pandemic) except in a limited number of circumstances
  • an increase to the damages which can be awarded in cases where a landlord carries out an unlawful eviction

We intend these measures will be in place until at least 31 March 2023, but the Bill includes a duty for the Scottish Ministers to review the measures regularly to check that there is still a need for these measures.

The Bill also includes a power to extend these measures for two further six month periods, if it is necessary and proportionate to do so. The Scottish Ministers would need the agreement of the Scottish Parliament in order to do this.

No decision has been taken yet about the use of these emergency measures after 31 March 2023. Any decision will consider the cost of living situation as it develops, and will be also be informed by our engagement with tenants, landlords and other stakeholders.

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