Registered social landlord rents

This section discusses the few specific provisions for rents for tenants of registered social landlords.

This content applies to Scotland

Rent increases

Most social landlord tenants are Scottish secure tenants and subject to the provisions relating to rent in the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001. [1]

  • A landlord can only increase rent or charges if the tenant has received written notice at least four weeks prior to the date the increase is due to take effect. [2]

  • Prior to imposing a general rent or charges increase, tenants who will be affected must be consulted and have their views taken into account. [3]

The model Scottish secure tenancy agreement published by the Scottish Government recommends that rent should not change more than once per year, although there are no statutory provisions on this nor on by how much it would be permissible to increase rent charges. [4]

Tenants with protected rights

Some Scottish secure  tenants may carry protected rights. If the tenancy was previously a secure tenancy of a housing association prior to the introduction of the Scottish secure tenancy in 2001, the tenant has the right to have a fair rent determined by a rent officer.

Alternatively, if the tenancy was previously a statutory assured tenancy of a housing association prior to the introduction of the Scottish secure tenancy in 2001, the tenant will retain her/his right to refer any rent increase to the First Tier Tribunal. [5]

A decision in the English courts may provide some guidance on the process of rent review increases for assured tenancies of registered social landlords. In Riverside Housing Association Ltd v White, [6] the tenant complained that the landlord had served an ineffective rent increase as they were served after the rent variation date. On appeal, the House of Lords upheld the earlier decision that the notices were valid and that all that was required (as was set out in the agreement) was that the landlord needed to give four weeks' notice.

It should be noted however, that the effect of this decision on other instances where a tenant wishes to challenge the validity of the rent increase will depend entirely on the wording of the clause in the agreement.

Rent in advance

Registered social landlords may be able to to request rent in advance but see the section on Rent in advance - social rented sector for details on how this may be challenged.

Last updated: 13 March 2018

Footnotes

  • [1]

    s.25 Housing (Scotland) Act 2001

  • [2]

    s.25(1) Housing (Scotland) Act 2001

  • [3]

    s.25(4) Housing (Scotland) Act 2001

  • [4]

    para 1.7 Model Scottish Secure Tenancy Agreement, Scottish Executive 2001

  • [5]

    art.5 The Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 (Scottish Secure Tenancy etc) Order 2002 - SSI 2002/318

  • [6]

    Riverside Housing Association Ltd v White [2007] UKHL 20