EMERGENCY measures to protect tenants are to be extended with private rents capped and enforcement of evictions prevented in most cases.

Subject to approval at Scottish Parliament, changes to the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) Act will mean that from April 1 this year, increases to private rents will be capped at three per cent.

Safeguards for private landlords will be amended, allowing them to apply for increases of up to six per cent to help cover certain increases in costs in defined and limited circumstances.

The enforcement of evictions will continue to be prevented for all tenants except in a number of specified circumstances.

As announced in December, the social sector rent freeze is being replaced with agreements from landlords to keep any rent increase for 2023-24 well below inflation.

The extension of measures was announced by ministers last week and are intended to be extended to September 30, provided they remain necessary, with the option to extend for another six months if needed.

MSP Keith Brown welcomed the move.

He said: “In the midst of this cost-of-living crisis which was created and driven by the economic madness at the heart of the UK Government, keeping increases in rent – often a household’s greatest single expense – to levels well below inflation is an important protection in uncertain times.

“I have no doubt that this further bulwark from the Scottish Government against the ravages of the Tory recession will be warmly welcomed by tenants and it is important, too, to recognise that there is flexibility built into the rent cap to allow landlords some flexibility in particular circumstances.”