Scottish MSPs have voted through a rent cap and extension of the eviction ban until 30th September.
The rent cap for private sector tenancies will increase to 3% from 1st April under the amendment to the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act while the Scottish government has the option to extend the eviction ban for another six months from September.
The Act means that private landlords can also apply for a rent increase of up to 6% to help cover certain increases in costs in defined and limited circumstances. The rent cap for student accommodation is to be suspended, recognising its limited impact on annual rents set on the basis of an academic year.
Landlords can apply to Rent Service Scotland to increase rent to partially cover specific costs including increased mortgage interest payments on the property they are letting, an increase in landlords' insurance or increases in service charges paid as part of a tenancy, subject to an overall limit - currently set at 3% of total rent. From 1st April the limit will be increased to 6%.
Enforcement of evictions will continue to be paused except in a number of specified circumstances while increased damages for unlawful evictions of up to 36 months' worth of rent will still apply.
Tenants' Rights Minister Patrick Harvie says: 'Our emergency legislation has given tenants across the rented sector additional protection as we continue to live through these challenging and uncertain economic times.
"We will continue to keep these measures under review, ensuring they remain necessary and proportionate to the challenges at hand.'�