Private Rental Tenancy rules come into force in Scotland

by Gary Whittaker

New rules on tenancies came into force in Scotland on Friday (December 1st), heralding what some have called a new era for the Scottish rental sector.

From now on, any new tenant will sign a Private Residential Tenancy, which will have no end date to it. This end to fixed-term tenancies means the only way the tenancy will come to an end is if the tenant gives notice to their landlord or the landlord evicts them, with a specific list of justifications to the latter restricted to 18 possible reasons. 

This will replace the Assured and Short Assured Tenancy, but will not replace existing tenancy agreements, which will continue until they are ended by the landlord or tenant.

Among the protections for tenants will be the lengthy notice period, with anyone resident in a property for more than six months having at least 84 days notice unless the tenant is at fault. If the termination of a tenancy is wrongful, a tenant will have the right to challenge this. Rent rises must have a three-month notice period and can be challenged if the tenant considers the increase unfair.

It is not just tenants who will gain, however. Landlords will have a simplified system for giving notice and a repossessing properties. 

A new tribunal system will be established to deal with disputes, which may make matters simpler for tenants and landlords alike. 

Chief executive for Scottish Association of Landlords John Blackwood said: "The improved and clarified grounds for eviction, alongside a clearly defined process which we campaigned for will further help streamline the sector.

"The new clauses will make it easier for landlords to ensure contracts are fully compliant with the law as well as being easier for both them and tenants to understand, hopefully reducing tension and unnecessary disagreements."

Figures produced by Your Move for the 12 months to October 2018 revealed rents had only risen by 2.5 per cent across Scotland as a whole. 

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04-December-17General Lettings News