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Scotland consults on radical plans for rent controls, pets and evictions

renting reforms scotland consultation

Landlords in Scotland can have their say on radical PRS reforms that would bring in rent controls, delay evictions and allow tenants to have pets.

The Scottish government has launched its latest consultation on A New Deal for Tenants: Rented Sector Reform, which explains that it’s now exploring a more general approach to a requirement on both tribunals and courts to delay enforcement of an eviction order during the winter. The proposals were first launched in December 2021 by housing minister Patrick Harvie (main picture).

This would mean a possible delay regardless of the time of year.

However, it wants views on whether a delay would detrimentally affect a landlord’s health or long-term disability or cause financial hardship and adds that it is considering exempting certain repossession grounds including anti-social conduct, criminal convictions, and vacant/abandoned properties.

The government suggests that local authorities would be required to carry out an assessment of conditions in relation to rent and to make a recommendation about whether Scottish ministers should impose rent controls in all or part of their area. A rent control area would be in place for a fixed time period.

Rent increases

It is proposing that, in most cases, a landlord would not be able to increase their tenant’s rent until at least 12 months after the tenancy started, but adds that it is considering what measures might be included to safeguard landlords’ interests such as allowing an increase in rent that is in excess of the rent cap to reflect the cost of certain improvements made to a property.

Other proposals include allowing tenants to make minor modifications without consent and to make a written request to keep a pet. Landlords would only be able to refuse a request where it was reasonable to do so, such as if a property was unsuitable for the type and number of pets requested.

The questionnaire is open until 27th October.


Rent controls