Landlords ‘getting around’ rent cap, Propertymark reports

Timothy Douglas, Propertymark's policy head, told the Scottish Parliament that many landlords were raising rents between tenancies.

timothy douglas

Landlords are increasing rents between tenancies to avoid the rent cap imposed by the Scottish Government, Propertymark has revealed.

Timothy Douglas (main pic), the trade body’s head of policy and campaigns, told the Scottish Parliament that many landlords were increasing rents once a tenancy ended or even exiting the market.

The Scot Government recently dropped its planned rent freeze from April in a major U-turn, and replaced it with a 3% rent cap for six months, with higher increases up to 6% allowed in exceptional cases.

Housing minister Patrick Harvie explained the U-turn saying a rent freeze would hit landlords too hard.

Restrictions on evictions that were announced at the same time as a rent freeze under the  Cost of Living (Tenants) (Scotland) Act 2022, are set to continue.

Threat

Douglas gave evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee on the Cost of Living Act

He highlighted an agent from Inverness who said that one landlord is between tenancies and her fixed mortgage is due to end in 15 months’ time, but has increased the rent now.

Propertymark is reporting that the amount of letting agents seeing landlords who are considering an increase in rent between tenancies is now 94 per cent, with 78 per cent considering selling their property.

“The threat of further rent controls is forcing landlords to put up rents between tenancies”

Douglas says: “The Cost of Living Act is continuing to have an effect on landlord confidence with the majority of agents still seeing them exiting the market.

“Rent increases have never been a significant factor in the private rented sector, yet this legislation and the threat of further rent controls is forcing landlords to put up rents between tenancies to cover any future cost implications.”


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