Private renters in East Ayrshire are being advised to understand their rights as the emergency rent cap and extra evictions protections in Scotland end from April 1.

There are approximately 7,140 privately rented dwellings in East Ayrshire, making up 12.1 per cent of total dwellings in the region.

An awareness campaign will highlight tenants' rights and they should expect from their landlords.

Patrick Harvie, Scotland's minister for tenants' rights, said: "Our emergency legislation has led the way in the UK in capping most in-tenancy rent increases, protecting tenants across Scotland from the worst impacts of the cost-of-living crisis.

"The emergency nature of the legislation, which was approved by parliament, means the rent cap cannot be extended beyond March 31.

"But tenants still have significant rights from before the emergency Act, and we have made use of powers to make sure any rent rises are more manageable.

“Subject to parliamentary approval, the system of checking rent rises will be adjusted from April 1 so that rents are not simply jumping to market levels in all cases in one step.

"I would encourage anyone who is currently renting or about to enter the rental market to check the rights that exist to protect them from unfair practices."

Tenants' rights involve the option to request a review of a rent increase, protection from illegal evictions, landlords providing the correct notice period before increasing rent, and the responsibility of landlords to ensure rented homes are maintained to an acceptable standard.

The 3 per cent emergency rent cap is still active until April 1, and rent increases after that date still require a three month notice.

Tenants can seek a review of increases they are concerned about.

Emma Jackson, spokesperson for Citizens Advice Scotland, said: "It’s so important that people understand their rights around private rents once the rent cap ends.

" If you think your landlord has put up the rent by too much after 1 April you can apply to Rent Service Scotland to see if it is a fair rise.

“The reality is the cost-of-living crisis has left a lot of people struggling to afford essential bills like energy and rent, and the Citizens Advice network can help with broader advice to increase how much money you have coming in each month or cutting bills.”