Information

Cost of living: rent and eviction

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


Introduction

The Cost of Living (Tenant Protection)(Scotland) Act was introduced in October 2022. It was a response to the emergency situation caused by the impact of the cost crisis on people who rent their home in Scotland.

The measures in the act:

  • 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 act 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

These measures are expected be in place until at least 31 March 2023, but the act includes a duty for the Scottish Ministers to review the measures regularly to check that there is still a need for them. The act also includes a power to extend these measures for two further six month periods, if it is necessary and proportionate to do so.

We announced our intention to bring forward regulations to extend some of the measures from April 2023, which will be subject to the agreement of the Scottish Parliament. Read more at: protections for tenants extended.

Any decisions will consider the cost of living situation as it develops, and will also be informed by our engagement with tenants, landlords and other stakeholders.

This guide provides information about the purpose of the act. The Scottish Government cannot give specific advice for your individual circumstances. If you are unsure about how the new measures might apply to you, it may be helpful to seek advice from an independent advice organisations such as Shelter Scotland or Citizens Advice Scotland.

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