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Rent reductions to compensate for developments

If you're a tenant, it may be possible to get your rent reduced if the accommodation you're renting has been badly affected by a new development in your area. However, this will depend on the type of tenancy you have.

Remember, as a tenant, you are entitled to comment on any developments that require planning permission, and to object to any plans involving compulsory purchase orders. If a public authority such as the council is responsible for the development, you may also be entitled to some compensation.

How can I get my rent reduced?

If your rented accommodation has been seriously affected by building work or developments in the area, you may be able to get your rent reduced to make up for this. This may be the case if, for example, a motorway, airport runway or waste disposal site has been built near your home, or if the quality and conditions of the area have changed in some way.

First of all, speak to your landlord, as they may be prepared to negotiate a reduced rent. If they are unwilling to do so, you may be able to take action. However, this will depend on the kind of tenancy you have. If you're not sure what kind of tenancy you have, use our tenancy checker to find out.

Short assured and assured tenants

If you're a short assured or assured tenant, you can't take action to make your landlord lower your rent. However, the next time your landlord suggests a rent increase, you can apply to the private rented housing panels (PRHP) to set a reasonable market rent for you. The PRHP will take into account the new development and the effect it has on your home when setting the rent level.

Think carefully before applying to the PRHP, especially if you're a short assured tenant, and, if possible, contact Shelter's Advice Services or Citizens Advice first. Use the Advice Services Directory to find help in your area. The PRHP will not necessarily agree with you and they can decide to raise as well as lower your rent. In addition, your landlord may decide to end your tenancy rather than accept a lower rent.

Find out more about the PRHP.

Regulated tenants

If you're a regulated tenant and the conditions of the property you rent change, you have the right to ask the private rented housing panel to set a new 'fair rent'. Fair rents are usually lower than market rents.

Find out more about fair rents.

Scottish secure tenants

If you rent from the council or a housing association and have a Scottish secure tenancy, you'll need to write to your landlord to ask for a rent reduction. If your landlord refuses, you may be able to get together with other Scottish secure tenants who have also been affected by the work to lobby for a rent reduction.

Find out more about rent issues for Scottish secure tenants.

What if I want to move out?

If your landlord refuses to reduce your rent or you can't cope with the way your accommodation is affected by the development, you may wish to move out. If so, you must end your tenancy properly, to avoid problems in the future.

If you need to move out because your home is no longer fit for you to live in (for example, if you are disabled, and can no longer access your home easily because of a development such as a new road) you could consider making a homeless application to the council.

Speak to a Shelter Scotland adviser

Call Shelter Scotland's free housing advice helpline

0808 800 4444*
9am-5pm, Monday to Friday

Email an adviser

You can also email a housing adviser. We aim to respond within three working days.

*Our advice line is free to call from landlines and all six of the main UK mobile networks, Virgin, Orange, 3, T-mobile, Vodafone and O2, but charges may apply from any other network

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