Your housing rights in the cost of living crisis

The rent cap for private tenants

The rent cap is a limit on how much your landlord can increase the rent. It ends on 31 March 2024.

If the rent cap applies to you, your landlord can increase your rent by:

  • up to 3% if they send you a valid rent increase notice

  • up to 6% if they apply to Rent Service Scotland

Your landlord must send you the right notice according to your tenancy type. If you have a private residential tenancy, you must get at least 3 months’ notice.

Check if a rent increase notice is valid

To increase your rent when the cap ends, your landlord must send you a valid rent increase notice on or after 1 April 2024.

You can still challenge an unfair rent increase after the rent cap ends.

Check if the rent cap applies to you

The rent cap applies to you if you have either:

The rent cap applies to all rent increase notices for these tenancies sent before 1 April 2024, even if the rent increase is due to start on or after this date.

When the rent cap does not apply

  • you have a Scottish secure tenancy with a council or housing association

  • you live with your landlord

  • you live in college or university halls or other purpose-built student accommodation

  • you have another type of common law tenancy

  • your tenancy started before 1989, called a regulated tenancy

  • you have an assured or short assured tenancy with a rent increase process written into the contract

If you're not sure what type of tenancy you have, use our tenancy checker.

If you get a rent increase of more than 3%

You can either:

  • agree to the increase

  • negotiate an increase that you think is fair

  • apply to Rent Service Scotland to challenge it

If you have a private residential tenancy and you agree to an increase, your landlord cannot increase the rent again for 12 months.

If you do not agree to an increase, your landlord could send a new rent increase notice after the rent cap ends. You can still challenge it, but a larger increase may be allowed.

If you decide to apply to Rent Service Scotland, you must tell your landlord you’re applying.

The form to apply depends on your tenancy type:

After you apply, a rent officer will write to you and your landlord to confirm how much your rent can be increased.

If your landlord applies to Rent Service Scotland during the rent cap

They can do this if they have an increase in costs related to the tenancy. For example, if their mortgage interest payments have gone up.

They must tell you in writing that they are applying and give you information about the increased costs.

A rent officer can agree to a maximum increase of 6%. The increase can only start 3 months after your landlord submitted the application.

If a rent officer agrees to the increase, they’ll write to both you and your landlord to tell you:

  • how much the new rent will be

  • when you’ll have to start paying the higher rent

If you disagree with the rent officer’s decision

You can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber).

Download Form K from the tribunal's website and send it by post or email.

When the rent cap ends

You can challenge a rent increase.

A rent officer or tribunal will decide how much the rent can be increased. The amount is worked out based on the market value of your home and your current rent.

The maximum rent increase that will be allowed is 12%. In many cases it will be lower than this.

Last updated: 15 January 2024

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England