Bid to introduce cap on rent rises abandoned by parliamentarians

7 July 2020 | Renting

Bid to introduce cap on rent rises abandoned by parliamentarians

A Bill which would have introduced a general cap on rent increases in the private rental sector has been abandoned by the Scottish Parliament.

The Fair Rents (Scotland) Bill that was introduced to the Scottish Parliament only last month and has not even moved on to its first major stage of consideration, but it’s already been scrapped because it would be unlikely to reach the law books by the time of the 2021 elections to the devolved assembly.

The Parliament’s Local Government and Communities Committee scrapped the measure which would have included; 

– a cap on rent increases for Private Residential Tenancies at no more than the annual Consumer Prices Index plus one per cent;

– giving private tenants the right to apply for a fair rent to be determined no more than once in any 12-month period;

– requiring private landlords to disclose the rents they charge for each property when they register or renew their registration on the Scottish Landlord Register; and

– instigating a three year review to judge how the measure worked.

A statement from the committee says: “We recognise the effort from Scottish Labour MSP Pauline McNeill in bringing forward this Bill. However, the committee has finite time available for scrutiny, particularly given our pressing need to investigate the devastating impact of COVID-19 on local government and our wider communities. Given the limited time at our disposal, we felt we could not give this Bill the detailed scrutiny it deserved and so as a committee we decided not to proceed on this occasion.”

Daryl McIntosh, Propertymark’s Ssrategic development manager for Scotland says it may have been too ambitious to introduce such a Bill during the Coronavirus crisis.

“In the last few months, there has been an abundance of new legislation affecting the private rented sector. And without knowing what effect the crisis will have, it would not be appropriate introducing legislation that may inadvertently have an adverse effect to the sector” explains McIntosh.

This post has originally been featured in Letting Agent Today.