Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act 2022 - proposed extension: statement of reasons
We have prepared this Statement of Reasons to set out why The Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act 2022 (Amendment of Expiry Dates and Rent Cap Modification) Regulations 2023 (“the extension regulations”) should be made.
1.1 The Scottish Government is committed to putting, and keeping, in place measures necessary to address the ongoing cost of living crisis.
1.2 The Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act 2022 ("the Act") is a response to the impact of the cost crisis on those living in the rented sector. The Act introduced a temporary rent cap and a temporary moratorium on the enforcement of evictions, along with simplifying the process for claiming unlawful eviction damages and increasing the level of damages that can be awarded – until at least 31 March 2023. The Act also contains powers to temporarily reform rent adjudication in connection with the expiry of the rent cap.
1.3 Given the measures in the Act are in response to the cost of living crisis, they are necessarily time limited with Part 1 of the Act due to expire at the end of 31 March 2023. However, there is the potential for extension of the Act for two periods of 6 months by secondary legislation. Any extension would be subject to the approval of the Scottish Parliament.
1.4 In addition to being time limited, the Scottish Government has also made clear it will retain and use the provisions in the Act only where they remain necessary and proportionate in connection with the cost of living. As a result, provisions in the Act must be expired or suspended if they are no longer considered necessary and proportionate – as demonstrated in the recent decision by Scottish Ministers to expire the rent cap provisions for the social sector and suspend the rent cap provisions for the student accommodation sector. The Scottish Government must keep Part 1 of the Act under review and prepare reports on their review which must be laid before Parliament. The first report was laid on 12 January 2023. The next formal report will be due by 14 July 2023. The requirement to keep the provisions under review remains ongoing and we will also continue to give consideration to the evidence available to us, with interim updates on the Act being provided as required.
1.5 The draft regulations which accompany this Statement of Reasons would extend the expiry date of Part 1 of the Act from 31 March 2023 to 30 September 2023. This Statement of Reasons has been prepared by the Scottish Government to set out reasons why The Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act 2022 (Amendment of Expiry Dates and Rent Cap Modification) Regulations 2023 ("the extension regulations") should be made. It explains that it is necessary and proportionate in connection with the cost of living to extend Part 1 of the Act. This Statement of Reasons is laid with the draft extension regulations in compliance with section 7(6) of the Act.
1.6 Details of specific measures are contained in section 4 of this Statement, and a summary of the Government's recommendations and actions in relation to the Act is provided in Annex A.
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