PPP Lettings Team: Ashleigh McIntosh, Murray Hall & Laura Harris

From 1st December 2017 onwards, all new tenancies will be a Private Residential Tenancy (under the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016).

The new tenancy will replace Short Assured and Assured Tenancies and will be much clearer and simpler to use. The purpose of the Private Residential Tenancy is to improve security for tenants and provide safeguards for landlords, lenders and investors.  Where there is a current Assured or Short Assured Lease in place, they will be unaffected by this change. Only when the current lease is terminated, and landlords have to find new tenants, will the Private Residential Tenancy have to be used.

What are the Key Changes?

Lease Paperwork

The Government has recently published a Model Tenancy Agreement.  The Agreement contains mandatory clauses, which are the core rights and obligations of all parties, and discretionary clauses, which a landlord or agent can choose to include as and when appropriate.

It is not compulsory to use the model PRT.  Landlords and agents can add their own optional grounds, providing they do not contradict the mandatory grounds.  A landlord/agent can issue either:

1  the Model Private Residential Tenancy + Easy Read Notes; or

2  a bespoke Tenancy Agreement (including all of the statutory terms) + the Private Residential Tenancy Statutory Terms Supporting Notes.

There will be no more confusing pre-tenancy notices, such as the AT5, and one simple notice when regaining possession of a property called a ‘Notice To Leave’.  This will replace the current ‘Notice To Quit’ and ‘Notice Of Proceedings’.

Lease Dates

The PRT does not allow for tenants and landlords to agree a minimum duration for the lease, nor add an end date.  A start date will be agreed between the parties and the tenancy will continue indefinitely until terminated by either in accordance with the legislation.

Ending a Tenancy

Tenants can give 28 days’ notice to leave at any point after the start date.  A single Notice to Leave form must be issued.

Landlords can end a tenancy by using one of 18 modernised grounds for repossession, which include new grounds.  New grounds include the landlord wishing to sell, move back into the property or carry out significant renovation works.  A full list of grounds is available on the Government Website.

Landlords will have to give 28 days’ notice within the first 6 months of the tenancy or 84 days’ notice thereafter. Grounds relating to tenants breaching the agreement require 28 days’ notice, regardless of how long they have been renting the property.  Where a tenant is in rent arrears, a landlord can refer a case for repossession more quickly.

Rent Increases

The rent may only be increased once in any twelve month period and the tenant must be given 3 months’ notice in writing.

What is Premier Properties Perth doing to prepare for these changes?

We are currently reviewing the Model PRT and preparing a bespoke Tenancy Agreement which will provide as much protection as possible for our clients.  We are also sending our core lettings staff on a training programme which will cover all the documentation and associated processes for a PRT, so they will be fully up-to-speed with the changes and able to provide accurate advice and support to our clients.

Further Information

Full details of the Private Residential Tenancy, including advice for landlords and associated documentation is available on the
Government Website