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Emergency measures in PBSA and student halls

Cap on Rent Increases and a pause on evictions

Temporary measures have been introduced to help people who rent their home and students in college and university halls, and Purpose Built Student Accommodation.

 . The measures includes:

  • a temporary cap on rent increases during tenancies
  • a temporary moratorium (pause) on evictions.

Temporary rent cap

The cap is set at 0% and is expected to stay in place until at least 31 March 2023. That means that from 28 October 2022, college or university accommodation providers or PBSA providers cannot issue a notice to increase rent. 

This only applies to in-tenancy rent increases. You can set the rent for any new tenancy. A “bridging contract” also counts as a new contract and is not included in the rent cap.

Scottish Ministers have the power to change the level of the rent cap at any time while the emergency measures are in force.. 

If the student is making excessive use of utilities, these costs can be passed onto them by the provider, where the tenancy agreement allows for this. Payment of utilities must have been included in the tenancy agreement.


The rent cap could  be extended for a maximum of 2 further 6 month periods after 31 March 2023.

Temporary moratorium (pause) on evictions

There is also a temporary pause on the enforcement of evictions issued on or after 6 September 2022.

The eviction pause will not apply if you are evicting a tenant because they have engaged in antisocial or criminal behaviour.

To be able to evict for one of these reasons you will need to get a decree from the sheriff court. This is normally done during the summary cause procedure.

Anti-social behaviour

When you apply to the court you will need to show that the tenant behaved in an anti-social manner towards another person and that the behaviour was within, or in the locality of, the rented accommodation.  

Criminal behaviour

You will need to include information showing that a tenant received a “relevant conviction” This means a conviction punishable by imprisonment and that it was either:

  • committed by using, or allowing the use of, the rented accommodation for an immoral or illegal purpose
  • committed within, or in the locality of, the rented accommodation

You must  clearly describe the circumstances of anti-social or criminal behaviour in your application to the court. You should use the language in paragraphs 2 and 3 of schedule 2 to the Act,. This will make it easier for the sheriff officers to determine if the reason for the eviction was anti-social or criminal behaviour.

Paying rent

Students should continue to pay their rent.  If tenants are experiencing financial difficulties you can work with them to try to find a solution. 

Every college and university has a Discretionary Fund that students can apply to. These funds are intended to provide assistance, for example with housing or travel costs, for students who experience financial difficulty accessing or remaining in further and higher education. They are allocated by Scottish Ministers and administered by individual colleges and universities. Each institution is responsible for deciding which students should receive payments from this fund and how much each payment should be.

Students can find out about the funds and how to apply for them from the student finance officer at their college or university. The student finance officer will also be able to advise of any other sources of funding that students may be eligible for.

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