Bill which aims to protect private tenants and limit rent increases to be considered by Scottish Parliament Committee

12.10.2020

Holyrood’s Local Government and Communities Committee is seeking views on a new Bill which aims to increase private tenants’ protection by limiting rent increases and allowing them to seek a “fair” rent. 

The Fair Rents (Scotland) Bill, a Member’s Bill from Pauline McNeill MSP, would prevent a landlord of a private residential tenancy from increasing rent in any year by more than the Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus 1%.

The Bill seeks to provide greater protections for private tenants by allowing them to apply at any time to a Rent Officer for a ‘fair open market rent’ to be set for a property. In deciding the application, the Officer would take into account matters like whether the property has poor energy efficiency or is in a bad condition.

The Bill would also make private landlords enter more detailed information about their property in the Scottish Landlord Register, including the monthly rent charged.

Speaking as the call for views was launched, Local Government and Communities Committee Convener James Dornan MSP said:

“The proportion of households in private rented housing now stands at just under 15%.

“As the private rented sector in Scotland has grown over the last couple of decades there have been various reforms to tighten the regulation of landlords and give tenants more rights. But the stated ambition behind this Bill is to change the balance of power further. It would cap rent increases to 1% plus CPI and to allow tenants more scope to challenge rents.

“We are keen to hear views about whether this further change is necessary and whether the provisions in the Bill are workable and will have the intended impact.

“We also want to find out what the financial impact of this Bill would be upon private tenants, landlords, the wider rented sector and others, and we welcome the opportunity to hear views on this proposed legislation.”

The cap on rent rises imposed by the Bill and the right to seek a “fair open market rent” apply to holders of ‘Private Residential Tenancies’ which have been the standard type of tenancy since 2017. The Bill will not impact rent-a-room agreements where the lodger rents in the owner’s home.

The Committee’s call for view closes on 7 December and you can give your views here:

https://yourviews.parliament.scot/lgc/fair-rents-bill
 

Background

The Fair Rents (Scotland) Bill is a Member’s Bill introduced by Pauline McNeill MSP on 1 June 2020.

For more information on the work of the Local Government and Communities committee, visit the Scottish Parliament website.

The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body securely processes journalists’ data for the purpose of enabling reporting on the work of the Scottish Parliament, in line with current data protection requirements. You have the right to unsubscribe at any time. For further information, please see our Privacy Notice.

Media information

Nick Connelly: 07866 125623

Text Relay calls welcome

nick.connelly@parliament.scot

 

Committee information

Peter McGrath: 0131 348 5206

Text Relay calls welcome

localgovernmentandcommunities@parliament.scot

 

Public information

• Telephone enquiry line: 0800 092 7500 or 0131 348 5395 (Gàidhlig)
• sp.info@parliament.scot
• Text 07786 209 888
• Ask a question online through live chat
• We also welcome calls using the Text Relay service or in British Sign Language through contactSCOTLAND-BSL.

You can also follow us on twitter @scotparl and to keep up to date with the Committee, @SP_LocalGovt

Like us on Facebook for updates on news and events

Or find out more on YouTube

This website is using cookies.
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this website.