Great news if you rent property via a private landlord in Scotland

You may not be aware, but from 01/12/2017, major changes have come into force that will benefit those who rent a property via a private landlord.

The Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 will come into effect.

According to the Scottish Government website, improvements for tenants include:

  • more security – it’s an open-ended tenancy so your landlord can’t just ask you to leave because you’ve been in the property for a set length of time.
  • protection from frequent rent increases – your rent can’t go up more than once a year and you must get at least three months’ notice of any increase.
  • any rent increase can be referred to a rent officer, who can decide if they’re fair.
  • if you’ve lived in a property for more than six months, landlords have to give 84 days’ notice to leave (unless it’s because you’ve done something wrong).
  • if you think you were misled into moving out, you can now apply to the First-tier Tribunal for a ‘wrongful termination order’. If the Tribunal gives the order it can award up to six months’ rent in compensation.
  • local authorities can apply to Scottish Ministers to cap the levels of rent increases in areas where rents are rising too much.

The Scottish Government has published a model tenancy agreement that contains all of the new rules to make it easy for landlords to comply.

The new rules also detail 18 specific grounds for repossession of a property.

This may be seen as a negative for tenants, however, having those circumstances set out clearly does give tenants clarity. The other new protections listed above make it easier to challenge any potential eviction.

All in all, the new rules make taking out a private let much more straightforward and secure. For more details check out the Scottish Government website here.

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Bobby Hainey

Joint founder of Autonomyscotland. In my spare time I enjoy Road Cycling, Munro bagging and beer.

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