Scottish Residential Property & Rent Increase Changes

Chalmers Properties River Clyde


As we near the deadline of March 31, 2024, for tenant protection legislation, the Scottish Government has introduced a bold new initiative to address tenant challenges regarding rent hikes. Effective April 1st, landlords gain the authority to propose rent increases of any magnitude, marking a significant shift intended “to provide private tenants with a level of protection exceeding that found elsewhere in the UK,” according to Tenants’ Rights Minister, Patrick Harvie.

Under this revamped approach, tenants contesting rent hikes will be directed to a rent officer, who will apply a tailored tapering formula. Here’s a concise breakdown of the formula, as outlined by SAL:

  • If the difference between market rent and current rent is 6% or less, landlords may increase rent by the proposed amount, provided it does not exceed the market level, with no room for negotiation.
  • If the difference exceeds 6%, landlords are entitled to an increase of 6%, plus an additional 0.33% for each percentage point beyond the 6% threshold, capped at 12% of the current rent.
  • In both scenarios, the rent officer is bound by the constraint of not setting a higher rent than proposed by the landlord. Any proposed increase beyond the formula’s limits will result in the rent officer setting the rent at the lower level.

Unchallenged rent increases from April 1st onward will take effect at the end of the notice period.

An illustrative rental calculator can be found here.

This new procedure underscores the Scottish Government’s commitment to supporting landlords grappling with rent caps amid rising living costs, while also promoting reinvestment in the private rental sector.

While landlords welcome the removal of rent caps, many believe the damage has already been done. John Blackwood, Chief Executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords, contends that although the government now acknowledges the necessity and benefits of landlord investment in properties, past actions and rhetoric have deterred many from doing so.

Blackwood asserts, “The rent freeze exacerbated Scotland’s housing crisis, rendering rental properties financially unviable for numerous landlords who have opted to divest. This has led to diminished supply and increased costs for tenants, necessitating significant efforts by the Scottish Government to rebuild confidence and secure the requisite investment needed to address Scotland’s housing emergency.”

At Chalmers Properties, we advocate for landlords to implement annual rental adjustments aligned with inflation, prioritising the protection of landlords’ investments and mitigating large rental increases for tenants which has been suggested following The Scottish Government’s involvement led by Patrick Harvie.

For comprehensive details on the transitional measures introduced by the Scottish Government, including illustrative examples under the new proposal, please refer to the official documentation available on their website.

Should you wish to discuss your investment property, we lend a keen ear to your objectives and offer honest advice coming from experience and local knowledge but geared to your own expectations. Contact our team today for an initial chat about how Chalmers Properties can help.