All Change For 2017
We will be getting a new tenancy regime in Scotland as set out in the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016. This new Private Residential Tenancy (PRT) will replace Short Assured and Assured Tenancies after a specific date going forward.
The Scottish Government has confirmed that the new ‘private residential tenancy’ (PRT) is expected to come into force in December 2017 which will coincide with the new First-Tier Tribunal assuming the functions of the sheriff court in relation to private rented tenancies (except criminal matters).
The new PRT will differ from the existing tenancy regime in several ways. The main differences being:
- Increase security of tenure for tenants
- Tenancies with no fixed duration which will last until a tenant wishes to leave the property or a landlord is able to use any of the new grounds for repossession (18 in total including new grounds such as abandonment by the tenant, that the landlord wishes to sell the property and where the landlord ceases to be registered etc)
- Different notice periods for tenants and landlords and for different grounds when seeking to bring a PRT to an end
- Replacement of Notice to Quit, section 33 notices and AT6 with “Notice To Leave”
- No need for pre-tenancy notices for certain grounds to apply
- Expanded rights of succession to PRTs in certain circumstances to include spouses, partners, family members and carers
- A model tenancy agreement
Now we have a clearer understanding of the date to work to, landlords and letting agents should look at the transitional provisions contained in the new Act to assess how best to manage the changeover to the new regime. As always, there are potential ‘stings in the tail’ for the unwary in relation to ongoing Short Assured Tenancies when the new Act becomes live, which may result in them automatically converting to the new PRT.
Beyond that, and as an early Christmas present, the Scottish Government has just launched a consultation on the model tenancy agreement and various prescribed notices to be used in the new tenancy regime, which is open until the 26th of December 2016.
Those interested can view same using the link below.
Combined with the forthcoming letting agent regulation, care should be taken to ensure landlords and letting agents understand the changes and the potential impact on current business and tenancies and what they need to do to get ready.
If you wish to find out more about the changes or discuss how you can get ready for them please contact Rory Cowan.