Landlords announce plans for average increases.
Ministers have reached an agreement with social landlords on below-inflation rent increases for the next financial year.
Organisations representing social landlords have announced their members' plans for average rent increases for 2023-24, which will keep rents significantly below private market levels.
Under the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) Act 2022, rents are effectively frozen in the social rented sectors until 31 March 2023. Decisions on future plans for the private sector rent freeze, as well as other measures contained in the Act, will be announced in the coming weeks.
Tenants' Rights Minister Patrick Harvie said:
Our emergency legislation has given people - whether they rent in the private or social rented sector - reassurance within their current tenancies through the worst of the winter, even as their other costs have been rising.
We recognise the enormous pressures households are facing, and by making this announcement now we aim to give social tenants advance notice, and confidence that any rent increase will be well below inflation.
The statements of intent from the social rented sector, based on consultations with tenants, will keep rents affordable while allowing social landlords to continue investing in essential services such as home improvements and maintenance."
Councillor Maureen Chalmers, COSLA's Community Wellbeing Spokesperson, said:
This is good news for Local Authority tenants from Scotland's Council Leaders today.
"In balancing the wide range of competing factors, Leaders with housing stock will seek to reach agreement with tenants over any increase in rents for the year 2023-24. Councils' consultative arrangements would normally allow them, subject to approval of local governance structures, to raise rents annually to meet rising costs.
"During these difficult times, as providers of social housing and Gypsy/Traveller pitch or site provision, we intend to keep the rental and fee increases to an average of less than 5 a week across the country.
Sally Thomas, Chief Executive at the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA), said:
We welcome the fact that Scottish Government has worked closely with the sector, to understand the evidence and avoid unintended consequences of this legislation, and to find a collaborative way forward. Investing in good quality, warm homes for social rent is crucial to tackling poverty in Scotland and protecting new and existing tenants from the increasing cost of living.
COSLA and the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) have published statements setting out their members' intentions for rent in 2023/24. COSLA has committed to keeping local authority rent increases to an average of no more than 5 a week. Members of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations and Glasgow West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations have reported planned increases averaging 6.1%.
The reference to average figures, rather than a fixed cap, allows for the flexibility to honour the outcomes of the statutory tenant consultations that social landlords must undertake each year on rent setting.
No social landlord is consulting on a rent increase at or above CPI inflation, which was 11.1% at the time of the data being collected.