Nicky Lloyd: What’s next after the end of the Tenant Protection Act?

Nicky Lloyd: What’s next after the end of the Tenant Protection Act?

Nicky Lloyd

Nicky Lloyd, head of ESPC Lettings, shares what comes after the end of The Tenancy Protection Act and what landlords in Scotland need to know about the changes.

It’s certainly an interesting time to be a landlord or a tenant in Scotland, as the private rental sector faces a marked change in circumstances, once The Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) Scotland Act 2022 comes to an end on 31 March this year, ceasing the controversial 3% rent cap and eviction moratorium that’s been in place since late 2022.

What is happening with the Tenant Protection Act on the 1st of April 2024?

It’s now been confirmed by the Scottish Government that from 1 April 2024, there will be new legislation in place surrounding private lets. Firstly, the eviction moratorium will lift, meaning that landlords will resume power to remove tenants from properties if so required, following the correct procedure.

Will landlords in Scotland be able to increase rent by any amount?

The biggest news for most is that the 3% rent cap will also lift, and landlords will be able to propose a rent increase of any amount. However, there are other rules which come into play if a tenant decides to challenge the increase and refers it to the rent office for adjudication. In this instance, an annual rent increase of 6% will be permitted, providing that this figure doesn’t increase the property’s rental rate above open market value. If the open market value of a property is deemed to be higher than 6% above its current rent, then 0.33% can be added for each percentage point above 6%, to a maximum cap of 12% above the current rent.

What happens if a tenant disputes a rent increase?

The ‘open market rent’ will be determined by local rent officers, using the rental rates of similar properties let recently and historically, alongside market data. If tenants are unhappy with the outcome from the rent officer, they can escalate their appeal to a First Tier Tribunal.

How often will landlords in Scotland be able to increase rent?

Landlords will not be permitted to raise rents more frequently than once every 12 months, and they must give 12 weeks’ notice of any increase to tenants. Despite rent increases now being permitted from 1 April and this being knowledge in the public domain, landlords will not be able to issue notice of rental increases prior to 31 March 2024.

Will the Scottish Government change this new system again?

This system will be reviewed by the Scottish Government in early 2025, so there may be more changes on the horizon next year.

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