Edinburgh woman dismayed as landlord raises her rent the moment the cap lifts

Catherine Eadie
Catherine Eadie said she will be appealing the increase -Credit:Catherine Eadie

An Edinburgh tenant has hit out after she received a notice of a rent increase - as soon as protective legislation ended.

Catherine Eadie, 53, lives in a mid-market flat in Granton but says her 'world will be getting smaller' after she received a notice on April 2 that her rent will be jumping up by nearly 10 per cent after the rent cap lifted.

She has lived in the new development for three years after moving from the housing association but says she 'can't understand' where the extra money will go.

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The rent cap came into force in 2023 as part of emergency legislation and came to an end on April 1. Now landlords can raise the rent by a maximum of 12 per cent. Tenants can challenge the increase through Rent Service Scotland.

Catherine told Edinburgh Live she is worried that her ground-floor flat, which is 'meant to be affordable', soon won't be.

Her rent is going up by 9.75 per cent which will see her forking out £808 a month. Catherine: said: "We moved from a housing association flat in 2021 and the standard is the same.

"There are repairs still needing to be done, so where is that 10 per cent going? It is run by C-urb Lettings, through Link Housing, and when we got the letter, there wasn't a breakdown of what this extra cost is for.

"The garage door is broken, and the building floods in the hallway. We're in Granton and there is lots of anti social behavior outside the building. The kids know the garage door is broken so they are always stealing the bikes from there. Then we get that increase. Why?"

Catherine works for a social enterprise which helps people with their mental health, but she says there's an irony here as she feels like this rent rise will impact her wellbeing.

"A mid-market flat is meant to be affordable. Me and my husband both work but this extra cost will mean there are more outgoing. What if they put it up further next year? And the year after that? When there are more outgoings like this, your world gets smaller and that can affect your mental health.

"I have my own health issues and have to live on a ground floor flat so when you don't have that little bit of disposable income, you feel like you have to stay in. That means you're less likely to be a contributor to society and that can really have a negative impact on a person."

The 53-year-old said that she felt the letter was 'impersonal', with no explanation of the costs, unlike the original tenancy agreement she received.

"There's no personable explanation for why it's happening and that would help us understand."

C~urb Lettings spokesperson said: “This year’s rent setting was particularly challenging as we had to take account of the impact of the imposed significantly below inflation increase applied last year, compounded by the high-cost inflationary pressures the housing sector is facing for both materials and labour.

“We do everything we can not to pass our increased costs onto our customers, and while cost pressures have meant there has been a larger increase than in previous years, we have ensured the rent does not exceed guidance from the Scottish Government nor the Local Housing Allowance.

“Regarding the repairs at the tenancy at Hesperus Crossway, we are working to get these resolved as soon as possible. There have been unexpected delays in completing some of this work. We will continue to work with the tenant to get these matters resolved.

“If any customer is struggling with rent payments or repairs, we ask them to contact us without delay by calling 03451 400 100 so we can help them.”

For those facing rent increases, tenants union Living Rent is urging people to challenge their rent increase by taking it to the rent adjudicator. When a tenant is given a notice by their landlord or property manager, they can choose whether to accept or reject the increase.

Then, on the Scottish Government website, you can apply to Rent Service Scotland to challenge the increase here.

Have you received a rent increase notice after the cap was lifted? Share your story with katie.williams@reachplc.com