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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.

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