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Unpacking Scotland’s New Rent Control Measures: An In-Depth Analysis

Scotland’s New Rent Control Measures.


The government’s recent introduction of Scotland’s new rent control measures has stirred up conversations across the nation. While the changes aim to make housing more affordable, they also bring a new set of challenges for both landlords and tenants. This article aims to provide an in-depth analysis of these new regulations and their potential impact on Scotland’s rental market.

Scotland’s New Rent Control: Rent Pressure Zones

One of the most significant changes is the introduction of “rent pressure zones.” In these designated areas, the government can cap how much rents can increase. This is a substantial shift in policy, particularly affecting properties in high-demand areas.

The Timing: A Response to Current Challenges

The introduction of these measures comes at a time when affordable housing is a pressing issue. Rising living costs and a competitive housing market have made it increasingly difficult for many people to find affordable rental properties. The government’s move is seen as a response to these challenges, aiming to bring some stability to the rental market.

The Fine Print: Loopholes and Limitations

While the new measures cap rent increases at 3% for most existing contracts, they do not apply to new rental agreements. Landlords entering into new leases are free to set the rent at market rates. According to data from Zoopla, this has led to an average rent increase of 12.7% for new tenants within a year.

Regional Impact: Edinburgh and Glasgow

The cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow have been particularly affected by these changes. According to recent data, rents in these cities have increased by 15.5% and 13.7% respectively over the past year. These figures highlight the strength of the rental market in these urban centres and indicate areas where the impact of the new measures will be most keenly felt.

Government’s Future Plans

The Scottish government has indicated that these measures are not set in stone. After a trial period, long-term rent controls may be introduced, potentially closing existing loopholes. This suggests that the landscape could change further, affecting both landlords and tenants.

Tenant Unions’ Perspective

Organisations like Living Rent, a tenants’ union in Scotland, have expressed mixed feelings about the new measures. While they appreciate the added protections for renters, they also note that landlords have found ways to circumvent these controls, such as threatening to sell the property or move in themselves if tenants refuse higher rents.


Scotland’s new rent control measures are a complex but necessary intervention in a challenging housing market. While they aim to protect tenants from exorbitant rent increases, they also present loopholes that some landlords have exploited. As the government considers long-term rent controls, the dynamics of Scotland’s rental market are set to undergo further changes. Only time will tell how effective these measures will be in creating a more stable and affordable housing landscape for all.

The unfolding of these new regulations and their long-term impact remains to be seen, but what is clear is that they represent a significant shift in Scotland’s rental market.

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Tenancy in Scotland: New Rent Controls in 2023?

New Rent Controls in 2023?

Scotland is on the brink of significant changes in its housing sector. With the Scottish Government’s recent pledge to introduce measures enhancing tenants’ rights and protections, the landscape of tenancy in Scotland is set to undergo a transformation. Let’s delve into the nuances of these proposed changes and the broader implications for the housing market.

Enhanced Rights and Protections for Tenants

First Minister Humza Yousaf has unveiled plans for a new housing bill, the cornerstone of the government’s New Deal for Tenants. This initiative is part of a broader strategy to address homelessness and the pressing issue of housing supply shortages in Scotland.

The Programme for Government, as presented by Yousaf, outlines several key measures:

  • Empowering Local Councils: The proposal would grant councils the authority to increase council taxes on second homes.
  • Reviving Empty Properties: An allocation of £60 million is earmarked to transform vacant properties into affordable housing units.
  • Investment in Affordable Housing: The government plans to channel £750 million into the development of new affordable homes. Notably, 10% of these homes will be situated in rural and island communities.

Yousaf highlighted the challenges posed by the cost-of-living crisis, exacerbated by a housing market struggling to meet demand. He emphasised the Scottish government’s commitment to crafting a solution tailored to Scotland’s unique needs, in collaboration with key stakeholders from both landlord and tenant groups.

Rent Freeze and Eviction Ban: A Recap

In September 2022, the Scottish government took decisive action by reintroducing a rent freeze and an eviction ban. These measures primarily remain in effect, with evictions currently on hold and in-tenancy rent hikes capped at 3%. However, this legislation has not been without controversy. A coalition comprising landlords and letting groups, including the Scottish Association of Landlords, has sought a judicial review of the legislation, with a decision still pending.

A Different Perspective: The Real Crisis?

While the focus has largely been on the Private Rented Sector (PRS), it’s essential to highlight a crucial point: the PRS isn’t in crisis. Year on year, there’s been no decline in the number of private landlords, and PRS evictions are on the decline. So, where does the real problem lie? The answer might be in the Social Rented Sector. The sector has been under scrutiny, especially with the government’s recent admission of falling short of their promise to build 110,000 homes over 11 years, just two years into the timeline.

In conclusion, while the Scottish government’s efforts to enhance tenant rights and protections are commendable, addressing the root causes of the housing challenges is vital. A holistic approach, encompassing both the private and social rented sectors, is the need of the hour.