The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, has announced a rent freeze on public and private properties as well as a moratorium on evictions.
The emergency legislation is being brought forward under the Scottish Government’s 2022-2023 Programme for Government. The measures are aimed at helping tenants through the cost of living crisis, and are expected to remain in place until at least the end of March 2023.
More information is available here.
Commenting on the announcement of a rent freeze, in Scotland, safeagent chief executive, Isobel Thomson, says:
“There are immense cost pressures on people across the UK, so it is understandable the Scottish Government wants to act boldly and decisively. But we must not sacrifice pragmatism and we need to keep a long-term perspective.
“Rent freezes and eviction bans will be very challenging to enforce or regulate and could create perverse outcomes. They will place additional pressure on landlords, many of whom are already considering leaving the market. We must avoid a PRS exodus at all costs – shrinking supply is the last thing we need right now; this will reduce stability and security for tenants.
“Keeping communication open between landlords, tenants, policymakers and the wider sector is absolutely key – it’s something we saw during the pandemic as agents played a key role in supporting negotiations between all parties. We need more of that spirit now and a genuine willingness to work together. Divisive interventions which penalise and demonise will not help.”