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Private Residential Tenancies Have Replaced Assured & Short Assured Tenancies

The 1st December 2017 saw a shift from Assured and Short Assured tenancies to Private Residential Tenancies (PRTs), a new style providing benefits and securities for both landlords and tenants.

As a landlord, there are various significant changes under the new tenancy you must be aware of:

Term of Tenancy

  • There are no fixed-terms. PRTs have no end date which means landlords cannot ask tenants to vacate a property simply because a certain time period has expired.
  • Secondly, there is no minimum period of rental, meaning tenants can leave whenever they please, so long as they provide the landlord with 28 days’ notice in writing.
  • A different notice period can be implemented if this has been agreed in writing after the tenancy has started.

Rent Increases

  • Rent increases are limited to once in every 12 months and the landlord must give the tenant 3 months’ written notice of this. This may be challenged by the tenant if they think it is unfair.
  • The correct form must be used in order to do this which is called ‘a landlord’s rent increase notice to tenants’.

Model Tenancy Agreement

  • The Scottish Government have provided a model agreement which can be found online. It includes mandatory clauses and discretionary clauses which can be deleted or changed where necessary.
  • A landlord must provide a tenant with the written terms of the PRT. However, it is not compulsory to use this model but it is certainly a good template.
  • If the model tenancy agreement is used, landlords must provide tenants with a copy of the ‘Easy-read notes for the Scottish Government model tenancy agreement’.
  • Where the model tenancy agreement is not used, tenants must receive a copy of the ‘Private Residential Tenancy Statutory Terms Supporting Notes’.
  • Both the above can also be found online.

Agreements must be in writing and signed by both parties. A few key things the agreement must state are the start date, the rent due and the conditions regarding rent increases.

Notice Periods

  • The notice periods have changed under PRTs. Landlords must give tenants 84 days’ notice where the tenant has lived in the property for longer than 6 months and the landlord is relying on a certain ground for eviction. In all other cases, 28 days’ notice must be given to the tenant.
  • Where the tenant has been in the property for less than 6 months, 28 days’ notice must be given, regardless of the eviction reason.
  • The landlord must inform the tenant of the ground used when serving the notice.

Grounds for Eviction

There are 18 grounds for eviction, divided into mandatory and discretionary grounds.

Where a mandatory ground is used and disputed, the tenant must vacate the property if the Tribunal find in favour of the ground used. Discretionary grounds will only result in an eviction order, where disputed, if the Tribunal decides it is reasonable in the circumstances.

A few examples of mandatory grounds include:

  • The landlord intends to sell the property.
  • The property needs refurbished in a way that would be too disruptive for the tenant to continue living there.
  • The landlord intends to live in the let property.
  • The tenant has a relevant criminal conviction.

Discretionary grounds:

  • A term of the tenancy agreement has been breached by the tenant.
  • The tenant has engaged in antisocial behaviour.

A full list of the grounds for eviction can be found here: https://beta.gov.scot/publications/private-residential-tenancies-landlords-guide/#grounds-for-eviction

Chloe Johnston – Intern

For further information please contact a member of our Commercial Property team:

Jane Ramsay

Partner

Email jane.ramsay@mbmcommercial.co.uk
Tel 0131 226 8222

Helen McGrath

Senior Associate

Email helen.mcgrath@mbmcommercial.co.uk
Tel 0131 226 8224

 

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