A RENT cap and eviction ban put in place in response to the cost-of-living crisis has been extended despite Tory attempts to thwart the move.

Members of the Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee voted through a change in regulations on Tuesday by five votes to two, with Conservative MSPs Miles Briggs and Annie Wells voting against.

The shift will amend the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act that was fast-tracked through Holyrood last year.

As well as extending the measures to the end of September – with a further six-month shift possible if the Government deems it necessary – the Scottish Government has relaxed some parts of the rent cap.

Following an agreement with social landlords that charges would not rise above inflation, they have been excluded from the rent cap, which has also risen to 3% instead of the 0% cap initially imposed.

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Landlords will also be able to apply to raise rent by 6% to cover building costs.

The changes to the legislation will also mean the cap on student housing rents will be suspended.

Addressing the committee, tenants’ rights minister Patrick Harvie pointed to the announcement on Monday that the average household energy bill is set to rise to £3000, along with the end of the £400 energy bill support scheme, as reasons to justify the extension.

“While the focus continues, of course, on protecting tenants, we also recognise the ongoing impact the cost crisis may be having on some private landlords,” he said.

“That’s why these regulations propose that the rent cap be varied to allow for within tenancy rent increases of up to 3%.”

Harvie said the rise would provide “parity” between the private and social rented sector in Scotland in terms of rent rises.

He added: “We believe that the evidence showing that the cost crisis is still very much with us means that it’s crucial we continue some of the protections brought in by the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act beyond March 30 this year.

“As promised during the passage of the Bill through Parliament, we have kept the measures under review and continue to consider their ongoing necessity and proportionality.”

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Speaking against the extension of the measures, Briggs said it was “clear this has impacted on both the social and private rented sector and very much destabilised them”.

The extension comes against the backdrop of ongoing legal action from a coalition of landlords, claiming the legislation has led “a material adverse impact on the income and capital of landlords renting property in Scotland”.

The Scottish Association of Landlords, Scottish Land and Estates and Propertymark filed a petition at the Court of Session last month, further complaining it offered no contribution to landlords to deal with the adverse impact and that the timescales were arbitrary.