Once you have made the decision to rent a property from a private landlord and you will discover that there are currently a number of different types of tenancy agreements.
Private residential tenancy
The Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 commenced on the 1 December 2017 and introduced the 'private residential tenancy'. The purpose of the Private Residential Tenancy (PRT) is to improve the security, stability and the predictability for tenants and provide safeguards for the landlords, lenders and investors. Any new tenancy starting on or after the 1 December 2017 will be a PRT, provided
- the property is let to the tenant as a separate dwelling
- the tenant lives in the property as their only or main home
- the tenant isn't excluded under schedule 1 of the Act
The new PRT will be open-ended and will last until a tenant wishes to leave the property or a landlord serves a notice to leave stating one (or more) ground for eviction. There are a number of advantages for landlords using the new PRT.
Short assured tenancy and assured tenancy
Short Assured Tenancies (SAT) and Assured Tenancies (AT) will no longer be used however there will be a number of tenants who took up tenancies prior to 1 December 2017, these are still valid and will continue to be until the tenant leaves the property or the landlord issues a new PRT.
The tenancy agreement must be a written document and the terms of the agreement should be agreed between the landlord and the tenant before the tenant signs the agreement.
The agreement should cover:
- the length of the tenancy
- the rent, and when and how it is to be paid and how any rent increases are calculated or otherwise decided on
- who is responsible for internal decoration and internal and external repairs and maintenance
- any condition or restrictions on the use of the property
Ending the tenancy
Private Residential Tenancy (PRT)
On the PRT the tenant will have to give the landlord at least 28 days notice in writing. The notice period will begin on the day the landlord gets the notice from the tenant and ends 28 days after that date. The tenant can only give notice to leave once they have started to live in the property.
If the landlord wants to give a notice on a PRT then they must use one of the 18 grounds for eviction and must serve a notice to leave which will advise the tenant how long they have to move out. A tenant does not have to leave the property unless the landlord has been granted an order from the Housing & Property Chamber First Tier Tribunal which allows them to repossess the property.
Short Assured Tenancy (SAT)
If you have a SAT you only have security of the tenure during the agreed period of let. During that time you cannot be evicted, providing you don't break any of the tenancy conditions. At the end of the agreed period the landlord has the right to apply for repossession if they want. However, the tenant can still stay in the property until the FTT grants the landlord an order for possession.
If you have an assured tenancy then you have security of tenure even when your contractual assured tenancy has ended. You do not have to leave the property unless the FTT has granted an order which allows the landlord to repossess the property.
The landlord must do three things before they are able to gain possession of the property, these are:
- a Notice to Quit (NTQ) must be served on the tenant along with either a Section 33 Notice or
- a Notice of Proceedings (AT6) must be served indicating that he is taking proceedings to gain possession
- the landlord must obtain an order for possession from the FTT
Further information, applications and guidance notes can be found at Housing & Property Chamber, First Tier Tribunal.
Private landlords should always notify the local authority of their intention to evict a tenant by completing the Section 11 form. A copy should be retained for their records and/or evidence when applying to the FTT for eviction/possession.