The Scottish Government wants landlords’ views on the ‘rent cap’ Fair Rents (Scotland) Bill but warns it might miss the deadline before the next election to become law.

The local government and communities committee at Holyrood (pictured) has opened its consultation on the bill which would cap rent rises at 1% above inflation and give renters protection against excessive or unfair rent increases.

Private landlords would also be made to enter the monthly rent and other detailed information into the Scottish Landlord Register.

Scottish Labour MSP Pauline McNeill launched the bill in June which was halted from going through the Scottish Parliament by the committee in August, blaming its failure on a heavy workload.

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It’s now seeking views by 7th December with a view to deciding on the next steps early next year. However, it warns that because of its workload there may not be enough time to finish work on the bill before the May election.

Committee convener James Dornan MSP says the bill aims to move the balance of power further towards tenants.

He adds: “We are keen to hear views about whether this further change is necessary and whether the provisions are workable and will have the intended impact. We also want to find out what the financial impact would be upon private tenants, landlords, the wider rented sector and others.”

The Scottish Association of Landlords believes the proposals could lead to higher and more frequent rent increases as well as a shortage in the supply of homes.

It fears the bill would act as a disincentive to landlords considering reducing the rent below the open market level in order to attract new tenants or help existing tenants who are in financial difficulty.

Chief executive John Blackwood tells LandlordZONE: “Our focus has always been the lack of rental data – you can’t regulate for something until you know what the position on it is.”

Read our previous story about the Fair Rents bill.
Read more about rent controls.

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