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New private residential tenancy legislation

Published on 05/12/2017

Most owner/occupiers in residential property will come across neighbours who are tenants, and rent from an owner. The Scottish Government has actively promoted the private rented sector for many years now and it looks like there is more ahead as the nation continues to require more housing in the future.

For those who are traditional owner/occupiers and are not part of the growing private rented market we thought highlighting the main changes may be of interest.

As of 1 December 2017, under the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016, a new Private Residential Tenancy replaced the previous assured and short assured tenancy agreements for all new tenancies granted in Scotland.

The new type of tenancy is an open-ended tenancy designed to minimise disruption to tenants’ lives, so that they can feel safe and secure in their home without fear of eviction at short notice, just because the tenancy reaches the end. The ‘no-fault’ eviction option available under the old Short Assured Tenancy will no longer be available. The Scottish Government say that the new type of tenancy is also designed to give more certainty to landlords and agents through the 18 distinct grounds for eviction.

This new legislation means that tenants must be provided with written terms of any new contract before the end of the day on which the tenancy starts.

To make things easier for agents and landlords, the Scottish Government has produced a Model Tenancy Agreement form which comprises mandatory clauses in bold, and ‘discretionary terms’ which can be used to tailor the agreement.

Scottish Government has created a short explanatory infographic on this new legislation, viewable here:

It seems that the private rented sector is very much here to stay and that owner/occupiers who share communal facilities in a property will be sharing them more and more with “renters” as well as traditional owners.

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