Blog: What the private residential tenancy means for tenants

scotland-house-home-stockAfter publishing the new model form of private residential tenancy agreement last week, the Scottish Government outlines how new legislation will benefit people renting privately in Scotland.

Big changes to private renting are on the way.

At the moment most private tenancies in Scotland are either short assured or assured tenancies. But from December 1, every new one will be a private residential tenancy.

That’s good news for tenants, as you’ll benefit in three main ways.

First, new tenancies will be more secure. Private residential tenancies will have no end date. They can only be ended either by you giving written notice to your landlord or by your landlord using one of 18 grounds for eviction. You’ll be able to challenge wrongful termination by going to the Housing & Property Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal which may decide you are entitled to compensation of up to six months’ rent.

Second, you’ll get stability. Your landlord will only be able to increase your rent once a year, and will have to give you three months’ written notice of any rise. And if you think the increase will make your rent is unfairly high, you can contact a rent officer, who’ll decide what the rent for the property should be and lower it if it’s too high (though of course they could also raise your rent if they think it’s too low).

Third, your tenancy will be more predictable. We’ll help standardise tenancy agreements through the model private residential tenancy agreement, which your landlord can use to set up a tenancy. The model will include mandatory and discretionary terms. It will come with ‘easy-read’ notes which make it easier to understand.

The new tenancy won’t apply to everyone straight away. If you already have a short assured or an assured tenancy, it will carry on until either you or your landlord brings it to an end by serving notice to quit the let property.

Read more about private residential tenancies

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