Rent cap: private landlord guidance

Guidance for private landlords on the rent cap as it relates to cost of living emergency legislation.

Before making an application: important considerations

The tenant must be given notice of a landlord application to Rent Officer to increase rent above permitted rate at the same time as or before an application is made to the Rent Officer.  

To comply with the Act, landlords must give certain information (which is contained in the template letter) to ensure tenants are informed of the application, and understand their rights during this process.  The following information must be provided (here is an excerpt of the relevant section of the Act): 

The landlord must give notice in writing to the tenant under the private residential tenancy of any application under subsection  (1) which must  include:

(a) a statement of the proposed rent

(b) a statement that the proposed rent would be an increase to the rent payable under the tenancy of more than the permitted rate

(c) a statement that the rent payable under the tenancy is not increased unless and until—

    (i) the relevant rent officer makes an order determining the rent payable under the tenancy, or

    (ii) if the order is appealed to the First-tier Tribunal, the Tribunal makes an order determining the rent payable under the tenancy

(c) a description of the prescribed property costs of the landlord that have increased during the relevant period prompting the proposed rent, and

(d) where an increase mentioned in paragraph (c) includes an increase in the landlord’s service costs, details of the nature of the increase in the service costs and the amount.


To support landlords, a template letter has been created, which landlords could use to inform their tenant. You can download this letter in the supporting documents on this guide.

Should a landlord not wish to use the template letter, they are responsible for ensuring that all the relevant information (contained in the template letter) is communicated clearly to their tenant.

If the Rent Officer’s decision is disputed there is a route of appeal for landlords and tenants to the First Tier Tribunal. The First Tier Tribunal will only be able to consider the information submitted to the Rent Officer. Where a landlord or tenant subsequently appeals the Rent Officer’s decision to the First-tier Tribunal, a landlord cannot ask the tenant to pay an increased rent until the Tribunal has made an order determining the rent payable under the tenancy.  

The information supplied to Rent Officers at Rent Service Scotland will be processed for the purposes of considering an application for a rent increase due to Prescribed Property Costs whilst the Cost Of Living (Tenant Protection)(Scotland) Act 2022 is in force. This information will be held securely in the Rent Service Scotland ROCAS database and held in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and in line with the current retention policies. In the event of an appeal of the Rent Officer’s decision, this information will also be shared with the First Tier Tribunal (Housing & Property Chamber), so that they can determine the outcome of any appeal.

More details of tenants’ rights can be found at: Renter's rights.

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