Landlords ‘confused’ by Scotland’s latest rent cap changes

Propertymark says landlords are likely not to understand complicated new measures put in place to replace the rent cap in Scotland.

scotland rent controls

Scotland’s decision to abolish its rent cap must be backed with support for landlords who don’t understand the measures put in its place.

That’s the warning from Propertymark, which says the ‘transitional process’ is complicated and many landlords may not understand what they have to do.

“The proposals are complex, and self-managing landlords will be especially vulnerable to failure to understand or comply with the new rules,” Propertymark says.

Eviction ban

The rent cap and eviction ban are due to end on 31 March, to be replaced with a rent arbitration scheme for one year.

If the gap between the rent paid and its value on the open market is more than 6%, the price will be allowed to increase by 0.33% for every percentage point it is above that level, capped at a total of 12%.

After 12 months, landlords will then be able to return their rent prices to the open market value, allowing tenants to apply to Rent Service Scotland or to the first-tier tribunal if they feel the increase is too high.

Extra workload

But Propertymark is concerned about how the arbitration system will work, warning that there may not be enough rent officers to cope, and Rent Service Scotland may not have the capacity to manage the extra workload.

The controversial rent cap was brought in under the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act 2022, after the Government reversed an earlier pledge to introduce a rent freeze.

David Alexander, CEO, DJ Alexander

David Alexander, chief executive of DJ Alexander, one of Scotland’s largest letting agents, warned that the new rent arbitration scheme will only exacerbate existing problems and worsen access to housing.

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