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.
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