Government Aiming to Introduce Rent Control Measures Across Scotland

September 3, 2015

A series of rent control measures look set to be introduced in Scotland through legislation designed to protect tenants from unexpected rises in their monthly outgoings.

In what could be good news for thousands of indebted Scottish households, the government is planning to introduce a Private Tenancies Bill that will effectively give it powers to control rent rises.

The underlying aim of the bill is to prevent rent rises from becoming too steep for families around the country to bear from a personal finance perspective.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon presented the Scottish National Party’s programme for government this week and outlined its goals for the 12 months before voters go to the polls and potentially elect new members of parliament.

Among the programme were details on the Private Tenancies Bill, which incorporates measures designed to “provide more predictable rents and protection for tenants against excessive rent increases, including the ability to introduce rent controls for rent pressure areas”.

In addition, the new rules will aim to provide a greater degree of protection for tenants in terms of their tenure within a particular property. So landlords will have less legal support for asking their tenants to leave at the end of a fixed-term contract of a particular length.

The SNP’s document outlining the Scottish government’s plans for 2015-16 says that the Private Tenancy Bill “will meet our commitment to give tenants in the private rented sector increased security while giving landlords, lenders and investors the confidence to continue investing in the sector”.

It also detailed some of the clearest differences of opinion between the government in Scotland and the UK government in Westminster with the SNP making no secret of its intention to “stand against austerity” and to work towards offsetting some of the cuts to public expenditure at the UK level.

“Tackling poverty remains our key priority, and this will become increasingly challenging because of announcements by the UK Government on welfare reform,” the ‘Stronger Scotland’ document insists.

“UK reforms to tax credits alone will reduce the incomes of between 200,000 and 250,000 households in Scotland, taking £700 million from the pockets of people on low incomes in Scotland every year,” it said.

John Baird

Insolvency Adviser

Tel: 0800 063 9250

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