Proposed New Deal for Tenants

24 November 2023

Proposed New Deals for Tenants

As part of the Scottish Government’s comprehensive vision for housing in Scotland up to 2040 outlined in the ‘Housing to 2040’ initiative, efforts are underway to enhance the functionality of the rented sector. The ‘New Deal for Tenants’, which was published in 2021 and is currently undergoing further consultations, seeks to bring about significant changes aimed at improving the overall renting experience in Scotland.

Rent Control

A key proposal involves local authorities periodically evaluating rents in their respective areas and recommending whether Scottish Ministers should implement rent controls. Should designated rent control areas be established, annual rent increases would be subject to specific percentage or formula limitations for mid-tenancy and between tenancy increases.

Landlords’ ability to reset rents to market levels between tenancies would be restricted within these designated areas, with limited exceptions for cases like properties undergoing improvement works. The specific exceptions are yet to be determined and will be addressed in proposed forthcoming legislation. Outside of rent control areas, no restrictions on rent increases would be imposed.

Ending Joint Tenancies

To prevent Private Residential Tenancy (PRT) tenants from being stuck in unwanted joint tenancies, proposed changes allow one tenant to give notice to terminate the tenancy for all tenants after a two-month consultation period. Joint tenants wishing to stay could negotiate terms for a new tenancy with the landlord.

Personalisation of Property

Private residential sector tenants would gain the right to make certain minor modifications without consent, such as hanging pictures and posters. They would also be entitled to request consent for certain other modifications (e.g., painting walls), which a landlord could not unreasonably refuse. Conditions may be applied when giving consent, such as reinstating the property to its original condition at the end of the tenancy and possibly requiring a higher deposit.


Private residential sector tenants would have the right to request permission to keep a pet. Landlords could not unreasonably refuse permission, although conditions may be applied, such as requiring a higher deposit. A reasonable ground for refusal could be the unsuitability of the property for the requested type and number of pets.

Greater Protection during Eviction

Proposed changes would require the First-tier Tribunal to assess the reasonableness of delaying eviction enforcement to prevent particular hardship or harm to tenants. Certain grounds, such as anti-social/criminal behaviour and abandonment, would be exempt from this requirement. While the tribunal has always had the power to delay eviction enforcement, it has infrequently exercised this authority in the past.

For detailed information on the pending reform, please click here.

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