In June 2023, the Scottish Government announced that the 3% cap on rent increases for private sector tenancies and the moratorium on nearly all residential evictions will end on 31 March 2024, the latest date possible in terms of the emergency legislation introducing the temporary measures (Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act 2022).

Since then, the Scottish Government has been considering how to transition out of the current emergency measures to allow rents to return to open market values while protecting tenants from significant rent increases. The proposal announced earlier this month, is to extend the provisions in the 2022 Act on rent adjudication to 31 March 2025 and introduce an enhanced system of tenant-initiated rent adjudication. Following a short consultation which closed on 15 January and assuming approval by the Scottish Parliament, from 1 April onwards the following process will apply for one year.

When a landlord issues a rent-increase notice to a tenant, the tenant can initiate the rent-adjudication process by referring the proposed increase to a rent officer or to the First Tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber). The increased rent will be the lower of:

  1. The landlord's proposed rent;
  2. The open market rent; or
  3. Where the gap between the tenant's current rent and the open market rent ("the market difference") is more than 6%, the permitted rent.

The permitted rent will be deemed to be:

  1. Where the market difference is less than 24%, the calculated amount,
  2. Where the market difference is 24% or more, 12% more than the current rent.
Enhanced rent adjudication process to apply from expiry of rent caps

If the tenant applies for their rent increase to be adjudicated, the rent officer or First Tier Tribunal will apply the formula to the proposed rent increase. In practical terms, if the market difference is more than 6%, the landlord will be permitted to increase the rent by 6% plus an additional 0.33% for each percent that the market difference exceeds 6% but subject to a maximum increase of 12% on the current rent.

This process will be available to tenants occupying private rented sector housing in terms of a Private Residential Tenancy (including tenants of Mid-Market Rent housing where this is occupied in terms of the PRT), or tenants occupying in terms of older style assured tenancies granted before 1 December 2017. Rents set by providers of social housing payable in terms of Scottish Secure Tenancies are not affected.

The proposed measures are temporary, intended to fill in the gap before the much-anticipated Housing Bill becomes legislation (possibly in early 2025, depending on legislative process) bringing with it long-term measures for rent controls – as trailed in the "A New Deal for Tenants: Rented Sector Reform – Current Proposals".


Jenna Monteith

Legal Director

Fiona McLeod

Legal Director

Catherine Reilly

Director of Knowledge (Real Estate)