In a major change of mind, ministers in Scotland decided to allow rent rises after a campaign from landlord leaders.

David Callaghan

23rd January 2023 

rent controls scoltland patrick harvie

The Scottish Government has dropped its planned rent freeze from April in a major U-turn.

Ministers are now proposing a 3% rent cap for six months, with higher increases up to 6% allowed in exceptional cases.

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, led on the announced rent freeze in September, but left housing minister Patrick Harvie (main picture) to reveal the climbdown.

Harvie said the Government now accepted a rent freeze would hit landlords too hard: “While the primary purpose of the legislation is to support tenants, I recognise that costs have been rising for landlords too.

“That’s why we intend to allow those in the private sector to increase rents by up to 3%, with a continued safeguard allowing them to apply for larger increases to cover specified rising costs they might be seeing as landlords.”

Restrictions on evictions that were announced at the same time as a rent freeze under the  Cost of Living (Tenants) (Scotland) Bill 2022, are set to continue.


David Alexander, CEO, DJ Alexander

David Alexander, CEO of DJ Alexander, says: “This will hopefully provide some breathing space for the private rented sector which has seen investment slow or stop, a reduction in the number of homes available, and increased pressure on tenants who have been unable to find appropriate homes.”

Oli Sherlock, Director of Insurance, Goodlord,

Oli Sherlock, director of insurance at Goodlord, says: “A price cap is a more sensible step forward than a freeze, but it’s still not addressing the key issues facing the market today. We have an economic and regulatory environment that is driving landlords away from the sector and not enough homes to go around.”