Skip to main content

The new private residential tenancy

On 1 December 2017, the private residential tenancy came into being, this replaces assured and short assured tenancy agreements for all new tenancies.

What is the Private Residential Tenancy?

Any tenancy that starts on or after 1 December 2017 will be a private residential tenancy. This new tenancy will replace the assured and short assured tenancy and will bring in changes and improvements to the private rented sector, including:

  • No more fixed terms - private residential tenancies will be open ended, meaning a landlord can't ask tenants to leave just because they have been in the property for 6 months as can be done with a short assured tenancy.
  • Rent increases - the rent can only be increased once every 12 months, with 3 months notice. If the tenant thinks the proposed increase is unfair, they can refer it to a rent officer.
  • Longer notice period - if a tenant has lived in a property for longer than 6 months the landlord will have to give then at least 84 days notice to leave (unless you've broken a term in the tenancy agreement).
  • Simpler notices - the notice to quit process will be scrapped and replaced by a simpler notice to leave process.
  • Model tenancy agreement - the Scottish Government will publish a model private residential tenancy that can be used by landlords to set up a tenancy.

What will happen to tenancies that started before 1 December 2017?

On 1 December 2017, there will be no change to existing assured or short assured tenant. The tenancy will continue as normal until the landlord or tenant bring it to an end following the correct procedure. If a landlord then offers the tenant a new tenancy, this will be a private residential tenancy.

Tenancy agreements

Tenants now have the right to a written tenancy agreement, this can be either a paper or electronic copy, within 28 days of the start of the tenancy.

The Scottish Government has published a model tenancy that landlords can use to set up a tenancy. This tenancy agreement contains certain statutory terms that outline both parties rights and obligations.

When a landlord uses the Scottish Government's' model tenancy, they should also give the tenant the 'Easy Read Notes' which will explain the tenancy terms in plain English. 

If a landlord does not use the model tenancy, they must give the tenant the private residential tenancy statutory terms: supporting notes, with the lease, which explains the basic 9 set of terms that the landlord has to include in the lease.

No more AT5 forms

There is no need to make sure you give the right notices, such as the AT5, at the start of a tenancy, as all tenancies will now be private residential tenancies.

No more tenancy information packs

Landlords won't need to give their tenants a tenancy information pack at the start of the tenancy. The packs have been replaced by the easy read notes and supporting notes that landlords have to give their tenants with the tenancy agreements.

No more tacit relocation

Since the private residential tenancy is open-ended and doesn't have a fixed term, such as 6 or 12 months, there will be no need to check for or opt out of tacit relocation. 

The First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber)

The First- tier Tribunal for Scotland will take over from the Sheriff's court for most matters relating to the private renting sector, including:

  • Deposits
  • Repairs
  • Evictions
  • Wrongful termination orders

This First-tier will also hear cases related to assured and short assured tenancies.

There will be no costs with regards to applications to the tribunal. 

Sign up to the Renting Scotland mailing list

We'll keep you updates with developments in the private rented sector

Renting Scotland is funded by

Safe Deposit Trust Logo