New easy-to-use website allows landlords to draft Scottish tenancy agreements

PRS housing stockScotland’s largest landlord membership organisation has welcomed the launch of a new Scottish Government website allowing landlords to easily create tenancy agreements which comply with new legislation.

The Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) believes the site, officially launched today by Kevin Stewart MSP, minister for local government and housing, at SAL’s National Landlord Day event in Edinburgh, will make it easier for landlords to comply with the requirements for all new tenancy agreements from 1 December 2017.

The website will allow landlords to create tenancy agreements which contain clauses “required” under the new legislation as well as allow them to add or remove correctly drafted “optional” clauses as required. This will ensure that all new tenancies created with the website are fully compliant with the new rules.

Mandatory clauses cover matters such as tenancy deposits, repairing standard compliance and how to end a tenancy; with discretionary clauses ranging from utilities to common parts.

The purpose of the new tenancy agreement is to clarify the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants by having simpler contracts that are easier for all to understand, reducing misunderstanding and conflicts, whilst also encouraging responsible landlords and providing security for tenants.

National Landlord Day is the largest landlord conference in the UK and this year will see 550 people, with 40 exhibitors, gather to discuss issues facing the Private Rented Sector (PRS) in Scotland. In addition to the launch of the new tenancy agreement website, delegates will hear about important issues such as fire safety, welfare reform and energy efficiency.

John Blackwood, chief executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords, said: “We are delighted that the Scottish Government has chosen to launch this new website at the 2017 National Landlord Day event. We have worked closely with the Scottish Government, housing charities, tenant groups and others to ensure the new tenancy agreement legislation strikes the right balance which will help the PRS to grow whilst encouraging responsible landlords and protecting the rights of tenants.

“By making it easy for landlords to create agreements which comply with the new legislation, we hope this website will help educate both tenants and landlords regarding their respective rights and responsibilities and help to drive rogue players out of the market, allowing the overwhelming majority of landlords who act responsibly to thrive.

“National Landlord Day itself continues to go from strength to strength and, as the UK’s largest landlord conference, has become the place to hear about the latest developments in our industry. The PRS has a key role to play in ensuring Scotland has an adequate and diverse range of housing available of the types and in the areas where there is demand.”

Kevin Stewart MSP added: “I am delighted to be at National Landlord Day, launching our new online model tenancy agreement for landlords. It is an important tool, helping landlords to fulfil the new responsibilities and duties that will come into force on 1 December with the launch of the private residential tenancy. Creating a new, modern tenancy is just one of the steps we are taking to transform the private rented sector and to help meet Scotland’s housing needs.

“Both landlords and tenants have told us the new tenancy will ensure a modern and fit-for-purpose private rented sector. The resources launching today will ensure that process is as easy to navigate as possible, bringing great benefits for landlords and the 760,000 tenants who call the sector their home.”

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