KING Charles has been allowed to vet emergency legislation to freeze rents in Scotland because it could affect tenants on the Balmoral estate in Aberdeenshire.

A bill to stop landlords raising rent prices for the next six months is making its way through Holyrood this week.

It comes after rules were changed at Holyrood last year following a Guardian investigation into the monarch's power to influence UK laws, under rules known in Scotland as Crown Consent. 

The paper revealed last year that ministers in Edinburgh had allowed Queen Elizabeth to vet at least 67 pieces of legislation that affected her personal property and public powers. A Scottish government memo revealed it was “almost certain” proposed laws had been secretly changed to secure the Queen’s approval.

In response to criticism of the mechanism, Holyrood’s presiding officer Alison Johnstone told the Scottish Government it now had to tell Parliament as soon as a new bill was tabled whether the monarch had been allowed to see it first. 

Previously, ministers would only tell MSPs at the final stages of a bill’s scrutiny that the monarch had been allowed to secretly vet it.

The Cost of Living (Protection of Tenants) (Scotland) Bill - which was published on Monday - is the first piece of legislation to be affected by Johnstone's ruling and the first to be vetted by the King.

A motion to treat the bill as emergency legislation was passed by 86 votes to 28 on Tuesday afternoon.

The Scottish Tories voiced their opposition to the move, citing a lack of time for MSPs to properly understand the bill.

Nicola Sturgeon announced in the Programme for Government last month that rents in the private and social rental sector would be frozen, with legislation being introduced to backdate the freeze to September 6.

In an announcement a few hours before the bill was published, Minister for Parliamentary Business George Adam said ministers would explain how a bill applied to the royal family's personal and official interests and why crown consent was needed.

The Government has not said whether any changes were made to the bill at the King's request, which attracted criticism from the Scottish LibDems who said the measures "barely scratch the surface".

Alex Cole-Hamilton, the Scottish LibDem leader, said: “The Scottish Government should instead list any changes made to legislation at the request of the King’s lawyers when it arrives at and goes through Parliament.

"Everyone deserves to know how their laws are being made."

A policy memorandum published with the draft bill says: “Crown Consent will be required because it is considered that the provisions in the bill affecting private residential tenancies could affect residential tenancies on His Majesty’s private estates and those on land forming part of the Scottish Crown Estate.”

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said if they won power at Holyrood he would introduce laws requiring ministers to publish correspondence on the king’s lobbying.

He said: “I think people would expect any democratic system, a system designed for the people and in a representative parliamentary democracy, for these issues all to be out in the open for people to know how decisions are made, why decisions are made and where suggested amendments have come from."