Scotland to freeze rents and ban evictions

Scotland is to introduce emergency legislation freezing rents and imposing a moratorium on evictions until at least 31 March 2023.

So said Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon when announcing the Scottish Government’s programme for the coming year.

This, she said, was set against a backdrop of the most severe economic upheaval in a generation.

‘It is hard to overstate the gravity of the situation we face. This cost crisis puts livelihoods – and lives – at risk’, she said.

The ‘cost crisis’ will impact everyone and is only likely to get worse. ‘We are determined to act to mitigate the impact of the crisis to the maximum extent possible within our limited powers and resources’.

Among the promised legislative programme were two Housing Bills, including a New Deal for Tenants with an ambitious series of reforms ‘including legislation to introduce robust rent controls for the long term’.

Its timing will be kept under close review while the Government concentrates on ‘an emergency response to support tenants through the winter months’ – actions to reduce the hardship people will face and to create breathing space for those in difficulty, particularly those living in rented accommodation.

‘We have already taken action to further protect tenants through the Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) Act, including making all mandatory eviction grounds discretionary, and we are currently developing a package of measures that help tenants facing increased rent costs and support people to stay in their homes.

‘We intend to introduce emergency legislation to protect tenants by freezing rents and imposing a moratorium on evictions until at least 31 March 2023. We also intend to act to prevent immediate rent increases’.