Judicial review finds in favour of the Scottish Government

15 November 2023

The Court of Session found in favour of the Scottish Government on private rented sector rent controls. The action, raised by the Scottish Association of Landlords and others with an interest in the sector, claimed that the rent controls set out in the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection)(Scotland) Act 2022 breached the human rights of private landlords.

The full judgement, running to 36 pages can be read here.

Lord Harrower ruled that the legal test of requiring to show that the legislation gave rise to an unjustified interference with ECHR rights for “all or almost all” landlords in Scotland was not met.

Whilst the ruling is far from an endorsement of all or any rent control systems it does provide important pointers as to how rent controls should be structured in practical terms in order to avoid infringing the rights of landlords.

Helpfully it also makes it clear that treating the social rented sector differently from private landlords does not necessarily amount to unlawful discrimination.