There was a sharp rise in the number of tenants that saw their rent costs increase north of the border last month, according to ARLA Propertymark.
The trade body for letting agents report that 44% of Scottish tenants saw their rent costs increase in January, up from the national average of 19%.
The findings come following the introduction of the new Private Rented (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act on 1st December 2017, highlighting a market reaction to indefinite tenancies and the potential for rent controls.
David Cox, Chief Executive, ARLA Propertymark commented: “Rent controls have a history of dramatically deteriorating property conditions as landlords struggle to meet mortgage payments in addition to maintenance costs. However, it seems the very idea of these controls – and open-ended tenancies – is now affecting rent prices for tenants; in anticipation, landlords are raising rents to make sure they can make ends meet, should they be introduced.
“It’s now been two full months since this form of new private residential tenancy came into force in Scotland and while in December, just over a third [36%] of agents witnessed rent hikes, January’s results show a much larger swing.
“For the sake of the Scottish rental sector we hope this isn’t a growing trend, but while rent controls are on the agenda, it’s just a waiting game to gauge how the market reacts.”