United Kingdom

Rent cap legal, rules Scottish court

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A judge striking a gavel

Scotland’s Court of Session has ruled that the rent cap is legal and can continue, dismaying landlords.

Industry groups including the Scottish Association of Landlords and the National Residential Landlords Association had funded a judicial review of Scotland’s cap on rent increases within tenancies, arguing that it discriminated against landlords and harmed both landlords and tenants.

But a senior judge ruled that the complaint would not be upheld, and rejected the argument that the government had imposed ongoing rent controls on the industry without proper consultation.

What can the industry do now?

Despite the ruling, landlords’ opposition to rent controls is unlikely to stop here. The Scottish Association of Landlords is holding an online meeting next week to discuss next steps.

However, the current temporary rent cap cannot be renewed again and will end in March 2024, so industry stakeholders are likely to focus on the longer-term system of rent controls proposed by the Scottish government.

The government’s proposed reforms include rent increase caps both within and between tenancies. The specific caps would be set on a local basis (instead of one nationwide cap, as there is currently) in consultation with local authorities, landlords and tenants.

The reform proposals also include more rights for tenants to keep pets and redecorate rented homes and greater flexibility for courts to delay eviction enforcement.

Last month, the Scottish government held a consultation on their rental reform proposals, to which PayProp responded with a series of suggestions designed to drive improvements in the sector without damaging much-needed investment.

While that consultation has now closed, agents and landlords in Scotland can still write to their MSPs.

Other home nation headlines

Welsh tenants see bigger annual rent rise – LandlordZONE

Scotland Homes: Rent cap fails to keep costs under control – The Herald

House prices in Northern Ireland rise… but some areas suffer big falls – Belfast Telegraph

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