Scottish Government proposes a further, and final, six month extension of temporary cost of living protections for tenants in Scotland

Minister advises that, subject to approval of Parliament, regulations laid today will extend the expiry date of the measures until 31 March 2024

Minister for Tenants’ Rights Patrick Harvie has this afternoon confirmed that the Scottish Government proposes to extend the tenant protection measures put in place by the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) Act 2022 (the 2022 Act) beyond their current expiry date of 30 September 2023 for a final six month period until 31 March 2024.

Responding to a parliamentary question this afternoon on the government's plans for continuing the tenant protection measures introduced by the 2022 Act, Mr Harvie said –

'In carefully considering this wider economic context, the Scottish Government have decided that it is necessary and proportionate for Part 1 of the Act to be extended for a further, and final, six month period to 31 March 2024.

Subject to approval by Parliament, regulations have been laid today that would mean:

  • Most in-tenancy private rent increases would continue to be capped at 3 per cent;
  • Alternatively, private landlords could apply for increases of up to 6 per cent to help cover certain increases in costs in a specified time period where these costs can be evidenced;
  • Enforcement of evictions would continue to be paused for six months for most tenants, except in a number of specified circumstances; and
  • Increased damages for unlawful evictions of up to 36 months’ worth of rent would continue to be applicable.'

NB – the government has also published a statement of reasons setting out why it considers a further extension is justified.

Commenting further on the government's decision, Mr Harvie said that –

'As the cost of living crisis continues, these measures are giving important support to tenants, providing them with much-needed stability in their housing costs and additional eviction protections.

As the social housing sector have agreed their rents in consultation with their tenants, the focus of this temporary legislation is on providing private renters with similar protection. We know some landlords are impacted by rising costs too. The option of increasing rents by 6 per cent in specified circumstances ensures landlords who may be impacted by the cost of living crisis can recover some increased costs associated with their let property.

The final date of 31 March 2024 would be as long as the rent cap and eviction protections could run if approved by Parliament. The necessity of these measures is being kept under review and we will continue to assess whether they remain justified, balanced and proportionate based on the financial pressures rented households and landlords are facing.

We are also looking at how to transition out of the emergency measures, and we continue to listen to and work hard with stakeholders to develop and deliver rental sector reform.'

For more information, see Plans to extend protections for tenants from