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  • Writer's pictureSarah Ruivivar

Loophole in Scottish Rent Cap Causes Skyrocketing Prices

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

Welcome to the wild west of the rental market, folks!

Scotland, known for its stunning landscapes and friendly locals, has now gained a new claim to fame – the fastest-growing rental market in the UK. And it's all thanks to a cheeky little loophole in the country's temporary rent cap.

Earlier this year, the Scottish government, in an attempt to tackle the housing crisis, introduced a rent cap limiting annual rises to a modest 3%. Sounds great, right? Well, not so fast. This cap had a sneaky exception – landlords could charge more if they were setting up a new tenancy agreement.

According to data from property website Zoopla, Scottish landlords have been quick to exploit this loophole, with rents for new tenancies rising a whopping 12.7% in the year to July. That's faster than London and north-west England, making Scotland the new frontier for soaring rents.

In the urban hubs of Edinburgh and Glasgow, asking rents have skyrocketed, rising 15.5% and 13.7% per year respectively – the highest of any UK city.

But it's not all doom and gloom. For Scottish renters not starting a new tenancy, the rent controls have kept housing costs increases well below inflation. And the Scottish government has announced plans to introduce long-term rent controls.

However, the current situation is far from ideal. Tenants are reportedly being coerced into accepting rent increases above 3% under threat of landlords selling the property or moving in themselves.

The bottom line? The housing market in Scotland is a mixed bag right now. While some protections are in place, new tenants are feeling the heat. The hope is that long-term rent controls will bring some much-needed stability and fairness to the market. But until then, it's a bit of a rollercoaster ride. Buckle up!

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