The Scottish Government has announced that it will not extend the rent freeze introduced by the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act 2022 (the Act) last October on social housing after March 2023. This will mean that councils and RSL’s will be able to set their own rent levels from April. Social landlord representative bodies have therefore committed to keeping rent increases below inflation for the next financial year.

Decisions regarding the rent freeze in the private rented sector, which has also been impacted by the Act, as well as other measures contained in the legislation, are expected to be announced in the coming days.

Tenants’ Rights Minister, Patrick Harvie, said: “We have been clear since the introduction of our emergency legislation that we would work with the social rented sector to seek an agreed way forward as an alternative to the continuation of the rent cap in the social rented sector beyond March 2023. To support this we have been working with a range of social rented sector organisations including landlord representative bodies COSLA, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations and Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations.”

Pledge to support tenants through cost of living crisis

As a result of this work, statements of intent have been issued, whereby COSLA confirmed local authorities will keep rent increases to an average of no more than £5 a week in April 2023, whilst the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) and Glasgow West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations (GWSF) pledged to work out (in consultation with tenants) a set of increases that will average 6.1%.

“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,” said Mr Harvie.


Chief Executive of SFHA, Sally Thomas, added: “A rent freeze could have removed more than £200 million of investment from new and existing homes in the social housing sector, and any restriction would have resulted in reductions in vital support services, with little difference to individual tenants’ incomes.

“We are pleased that the 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.”