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Scottish private residential tenancies came into force on 1 December 2017

Landlords north of the border need to be aware of the new tenancy regime that came into force on 1 December 2017 in Scotland for all future private sector lets, following consultation with landlord and tenant representative organisations.

The new type of tenancy is called ‘the private residential tenancy’ and must be used in place of assured and short assured tenancy agreements for all new tenancies in Scotland after 1 December 2017.

The aim of the new tenancy is to provide security, stability and predictability for tenants and appropriate safeguards for landlords, lenders and investors. It is also intended to provide clarity, simplicity, ease of use and flexibility.

New private residential tenancies under this regime from 1 December 2017 will:

  • be open-ended tenancies, meaning landlords will no longer be able to ask a tenant to leave simply because the fixed term has ended
  • provide more predictable rents and protection for tenants against excessive rent increases
  • include the ability to introduce local rent caps for rent pressure areas
  • provide comprehensive and robust grounds for repossession that will allow landlords to regain possession in 18 specified circumstances

Any existing short assured and assured tenancies will continue, but new tenancies granted in the private rented sector from December 2017 will be private residential tenancies.

The Scottish government has published guidance relating to the private residential tenancy (guidance for tenants and guidance for landlords)

Landlords and tenants should note that there is an ability for government to introduce rent caps in rent pressure areas, which means a cap can be set on rent increases for existing tenants with a private residential tenancy each year in that area.

You can check the rent pressure zone checker to see if your property falls within a pressure zone.

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