27 Jan 2023
Letting industry representatives Propertymark, Scottish Association of Landlords and Scottish Land & Estates have collaborated to submit a Petition to the Court of Session in Edinburgh seeking a Judicial Review of the Scottish Government's rent cap and eviction ban legislation
In a move which has been welcomed by many across the Private Rented Sector the Scottish Government has announced emergency measures to raise the cap on rents to 3% from 1 April this year, with private landlords being allowed to apply for increases of up to 6% to a to help cover costs.
Up until now, there had been a cap on rents at 0% which will be in place until 31 March with tenants rights’ minister Patrick Harvie saying the new temporary measures are intended to be extended to 30 September, provided they remain necessary.
The rent cap for student accommodation will be suspended, a recognition of its limited impact on annual rents set on the basis of an academic year.
However, despite the move to allow an increase in rents, critically the enforcement of evictions will continue to be prevented for all tenants except in a number of specified circumstances.
Whilst the decision by the Scottish Government to increase the cap is a sign that they recognise some of the issues which have arisen, industry body Propertymark has, alongside the Scottish Association of Landlords and Scottish Land and Estates, submitted a Petition to the Court of Session seeking a Judicial Review of the Scottish Government’s rent cap and eviction ban legislation.
In the petition, the three groups say that they believe that the law is disproportionate and unfair.
Commenting on the moves by the government and the court action, Adrian Sangster, Leasing Director, Aberdein Considine said:
“The announcement by Patrick Harvie to extend the eviction ban for a further 6 months is a sad indictment of the Scottish Government’s approach to private landlords in Scotland.
There are exceptions, however the criteria to meet these are unfair, such as the requirement rent must be at least 6 months arrears before an eviction will be granted. The amendment to the rent cap which allows increases of 3% to be applied is a reasonable amendment, and is welcomed.
I welcome the news that Propertymark, Scottish Association of Landlords together with Scottish Land & Estates have taken this unprecedented step.
The lack of housing in the private rented sector is at critical levels and I hope this action succeeds with its aim to change the direction of Scottish Government housing policy, to a fairer and more balanced system for both tenants and landlords, both of whom are suffering as a result of current legislation.