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Rent Control – Action Required (Extended Deadlines)

There are two documents which now require attention from those wishing to make their opinion heard whilst rent control measures are being drafted. These are the final consultation documents prior to a draft housing Bill being published and therefore imperative that the industry makes its views known.

#1  HOUSING BILL – financial data evidence

Scottish Government has issued a document seeking evidence from those in BTR/PRS on the cost implications of rent reform measures. The form (known as a BRIA form) to complete (Rented Sector Business and Regulatory Impact – Cost Implications) – can be found HERE – and should be returned by:

FRIDAY 12th JANUARY 2024

The last question listed on the form suggests that rent control may be applied both within and in-between tenancies – and asks for cost evidence which may justify a rent rise above any rent cap. Given that a rent cap “in-between” tenancies would cause most investors to withdraw from the market (or rather, remain withdrawn), it is imperative that opinions are submitted on this question.

Please send to:

Charlotte.McHaffie@gov.scot (Private Rented Housing Team Leader, Housing Legislation and Reform Unit, Scottish government, Better Homes Division)

Cc: Yvette.Sheppard@gov.scot and Nim.Kumar@gov.scot

 

#2 INTERIM RENT CONTROL MEASURE – consultation document

From 1st April 2024 until the implementation of the Housing Bill in 2025 there will be an “interim measure” rent control mechanism. A consultation document (from Patrick Harvie) containing rent rise scenarios (with a proposal that rent could be increased by 6%+ as long as not exceed open market rent) can be found HERE and should be returned by:

MONDAY 15th JANUARY 2024 – 4pm

Please send to:

Housing.legislation@gov.scot

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TIMING FOR HOUSING BILL

The stated aim of Scottish Government is to introduce the Housing Bill in this parliamentary year – and while there is no timetable yet, the intent is to have the Bill passed before June 2024. That means we sould see a draft Housing Bill in early 2024. If so, the Bill could be introduced, discussed, debated, amended (Stages 1,2,3) and passed by June 2024. Thereafter the Bill will become legislation in 2025.

SUMMARY

So, we really are nearing the end game.

If the proposed Interim measure scenarios are anything to go by, there may be signs that Scottish Government is listening (provided not applied in-between tenancies); but it is now imperative that opinion is heard from those wishing to see a regulatory environment that will enable investment to return to the provision of new-build rental housing in Scotland – by completing and returning these two important consultation documents.

Will Scarlett
will@scarlettdev.co.uk

December 2023