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Policy actions 4 of 4

Rent pressure zones

From 1 December 2017, local councils can apply to Scottish Ministers to have an area designated as a 'rent pressure zone' (RPZ) if they can prove that:

  • rents in the area are rising too much
  • the rent rises are causing problems for the tenants
  • the local council is coming under pressure to provide housing or subsidise the cost of housing as a result

Rent pressure zones can only be introduced to private residential tenancies.

If an area is designated as an RPZ, it means a cap (a maximum limit) is set on how much rents are allowed to increase for existing tenants with a private residential tenancy each year in that area.

Scottish Ministers must consult landlords' and tenants' representatives before they make any area a rent pressure zone.

We are finalising the RPZ requirements and will aim to publish these shortly.

What the rent cap might look like

Any cap set by Scottish Ministers will be at least consumer price index (CPI) plus 1% – for example if CPI is 1.6%, the minimum cap set by Ministers would be 2.6%.

The cap can last for up to five years and will apply to existing tenants who have private residential tenancies only.

Applying for additional rent to reflect improvements

If a property is in a rent pressure zone, landlords can also apply to a rent officer at Rent Service Scotland for an additional amount of rent to reflect any improvements made to the let property.

These improvements don't include:

  • any repairs or maintenance
  • decorative work
  • any work done which was entirely or partly paid for by the tenant