Scottish letting agents brace for ‘rushed’ rental regulations

Legislation is expected to be passed in just three days this week that will allow the controversial rent freeze and eviction bans to be implemented by Thursday.

Nicola Sturgeon

The Scottish rental market is just three days away from turmoil this week as Nicola Sturgeon tries to rush through controversial rent freeze and eviction bans through emergency legislation by Thursday.

Last week the First Minister admitted the use of emergency legislation was not “ideal”, but insisted ministers had a duty to protect private and social tenants during the cost of living crisis this winter.

MSP’s on the local government committee scrutinising the Cost of Living (Protection of Tenants) (Scotland) Bill will only receive it at 8am tomorrow before taking evidence on it at 9am from experts that will also have had just one hour to view it.


A Stage 1 vote on its principles will then take place later tomorrow afternoon, the Stage 2 amendment phase is planned for Wednesday, and the third and final stage vote is on Thursday.

It is understood landlords opposed to the six-month freeze and eviction ban could argue the law breaches their right to control their own property.

The biggest issue that we have had over the last year has been an anti-landlord rhetoric from the Scottish Government.”

John Blackwood, chief executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords, said: “The biggest issue that we have had over the last year has been an anti-landlord rhetoric from the Scottish Government.

“We’ve seen quite the shift where they’re not interested in engaging in the sector or supporting landlords and letting agents to allow them to continue to invest in the sector and provide much-needed housing.

“As a result of all of that, many landlords have just decided that investing in Scotland isn’t an attractive option for them anymore and they’re opting to sell their rented accommodation and invest elsewhere.”


Tory MSP Miles Briggs, a member of the committee scrutinising the Bill, told The Herald last week: “The SNP-Green government is rail-roading this through parliament and there is growing concern about the potential for unintended consequences.”

The Scotish Government said: “These are exceptional measures developed at pace to reflect a rapidly worsening cost of living crisis.”

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