07 Jun 2017

Private Residential Tenancies – New Guidance

The Scottish Government has just published guidance on the new Private Residential Tenancies (PRTs). Introduced by the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 (2016 Act), PRTs are to be the standard form of private sector residential lets and will replace assured and short assured tenancies once the 2016 Act is in force.

There is still no specific date when the new regime is to come into force, but it has again been confirmed as “December 2017”.

The guidance gives an overview of the new tenancy regime in particular:

  • rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants;
  • how rents can be increased (and controls on such increases);
  • Bringing PRTs to an end including how to apply for eviction orders;
  • The new grounds for possession themselves; and
  • Wrongful termination orders.

The guidance also sets out what happens to existing short assured or assured tenancies when the 2016 Act comes into force. Any existing tenancies will remain either assured or short assured tenancies until they are brought to an end by serving a notice to quit. Where existing tenancies are renewed on a contractual basis, then they will also remain as assured or short assured tenancies.

As I have blogged before, that is not what the 2016 Act currently provides for in its transitional provisions, but it is understood that (following industry pressure) the Scottish Government intends to bring forward secondary legislation to amend the 2016 Act to correct this. At the time of writing this blog, I have not seen any such new legislation to comment on exactly how it will work in practice.

A copy of the guidance can be found using this link https://beta.gov.scot/publications/private-residential-tenancies-landlords-guide/.

My previous blog on the transitional provisions can be found using this link http://bkf.co.uk/blog/private-housing-tenancies-scotland-act-2016-transitional-provisions/ .

If you wish to find out more about the changes or to discuss how you can get ready for them, please contact Rory Cowan  http://bkf.co.uk/people/rory-cowan/ .