Changes to Scottish PRS abolishes “no fault” ground for repossession
The Scottish Government has confirmed that a new form of Scottish residential tenancy, known as the Private Residential Tenancy (“PRT”), will come into force on 1st December 2017.
As the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 comes into effect, it replaces the current ‘Assured Shorthold Tenancy’ system for all future private sector tenancy lets in Scotland from this date.
Its purpose is to improve security for tenants and provide safeguards for landlords, lenders and investors.
The new tenancy will be open-ended and will last until a tenant wishes to leave the let property or a landlord uses one (or more) of 18 grounds for eviction.
Improvements for landlords include:
- no more confusing pre-tenancy notices, such as the AT5
- where a tenant is in rent arrears, a landlord can refer a case for repossession more quickly
- a Scottish Government recommended ‘model tenancy agreement’, which will include standardised tenancy terms
- 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’
- eighteen modernised grounds for repossession, which include new grounds where the property has been abandoned or the landlord intends to sell
Full information for landlords can be found here: https://beta.gov.scot/publications/private-residential-tenancies-landlords-guide/
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
Full information for tenants can be found here: https://beta.gov.scot/publications/private-residential-tenancies-tenants-guide/