The Scottish Government has decided not to publish details of how many landlords north of the border have applied to raise their rent above the 3% maximum allowed under the country's Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act.
This controversial legislation was first introduced in October 2022 but extended several times until March next year, capping rent rises between tenancies at 3% but allowing landlords to apply under '�exceptional circumstances' for rises of up to 6% if theyu've been 'impacted by the cost of living crisis' and need to recover some increased costs associated with letting their property'.
This is done via the Rent Service Scotland where there applcation is reviewed and decided. Tenants who think their rent increases are unstified can also use the service to get mediation.
The Scottish Government originally said it would publish an update on how many landlords had applied to raise rents due to '�exceptional circumstances' in April this year, but this has now been kicked into the long grass.
A Government spokesperson has told LandlordZONEthis is because under the rules of the Act, Ministers most recent '�Statement of Reasons' removes the need for this data to be released.
But it is also lilkely to be political '� Scottish ministers would look compromised if, after promising to curb rent increases, a deluge of landlords had successfully applied to raise rents significantly.
One letting agent operating in Glasgow and Edinburgh, who wishes to remain anonymous, says Ministers' desire to keep the rent rises data under wraps is becuase the "RSS will be inundated with applications and knowing the Scottish Government, it will not have the manpower in place to deal with the volume of applications it receives".
But the Government spokesperson pointed LandlordZONE to the most recent '�Statement of Reasons' report from June, which says: 'The first Report was laid before Parliament on 12 January 2023 and reports [were] due three-monthly thereafter'� unless there has been a Statement of Reasons laid before Parliament during a reporting period.
'The Statement of Reasons published on 27 January removed the need for a report to be laid at the end of April (per section 9(8) of the Act).
'The next formal report was therefore due to be laid by 14 July 2023, but this 2nd Statement of Reasons would once again remove the need for that report.
'The requirement to keep the provisions under review remains ongoing and we will also continue to give consideration to the evidence available to us, with interim updates on the Act being provided as required.'�