The Court of Session has today published its decision in the judicial review case raised by SAL and its coalition partners (Scottish Land & Estates and Propertymark) in respect of the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act 2022.
The decision has found in favour of the government, ruling that the legislation is not unlawful and does not breach landlords’ rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
The crux of the judgement is that it is up to parliament, not the courts, to decide what situations justify emergency legislation and to decide what a proportionate response to that emergency is. The legal test of requiring to show that the legislation gave rise to an unjustified interference with ECHR rights for “all or almost all” landlords in Scotland was also not met.
SAL is disappointed by the court decision. SAL is proud to stand up for and defend the rights of those providing homes in the private rented sector by challenging policy and legislation that is disproportionate and damaging to the sector. Thanks to everyone who so generously donated towards our crowdfunding appeal that made this challenge possible.
Despite the court accepting our petition as having merit, and allowing the case to proceed, the outcome is nevertheless disappointing. However, by taking our fight to the Court of Session the government will hopefully think twice about introducing disproportionate legislation without consultation in the future.
There is no doubt that this decision will further exacerbate the housing crisis in Scotland as more landlords will inevitably sell up, further reducing the number of homes to rent in Scotland.