Rent levels in private tenancies, and welfare of breeding dogs, are the subject of two members' bills just introduced to the Scottish Parliament.

Promoted by Pauline McNeill, Labour member for Glasgow, the Fair Rents (Scotland) Bill attempts to control rent levels in private rented housing in Scotland.

Adds to the law in the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016, it:

  • prevents a landlord from increasing rent by more than a set level (related to inflation);
  • allows a tenant to apply to the rent officer to have a "fair open market rent" set for the property (once in any 12-month period);
  • means that landlords must include details of the rent they charge in the Scottish Landlord Register.

It also requires the Scottish Government to publish a statement within three years, showing how the bill has affected rent levels in Scotland and how affordable private rented housing is.

The Welfare of Dogs (Scotland) Bill was introduced by Christine Grahame (SNP, Midlothian South, Tweeddale & Lauderdale). It proposes to strengthen the regulation of breeding and selling or giving away dogs in Scotland, and establish a more responsible approach to acquiring a puppy or dog, by requiring the Scottish Government to amend the system for licensing dog breeding so that more breeders will need a licence. 

It also makes the Scottish Government set up a puppy litter register, for any litters not born under a dog breeding licence, but which the litter owner wishes to sell or give away. Registration must be done before puppies can be advertised, sold or given away. It will be an offence not to comply with the registration system.

A code of practice will also set out the process that is to be followed by anyone who wants to sell or give away, or buy or take on, a puppy or dog.

Both bills await the opening of stage 1 scrutiny.