Scotland: Landlords need to be aware of biggest changes for a generation

April 4, 2017

The private rented sector in Scotland is about to see it biggest change for three decades with the introduction of the The Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016.

The two key objectives are to provide tenants with better security of tenure and to allow local authorities to intervene in what are described as ‘rent pressure zones’.

 

 

Outline of Provisions of the Private Housing (Tenancies) Bill include:

  • A more streamlined system with no confusing pre-tenancy notices, updated grounds for repossession and tenancy agreements designed to be easier to understand. Landlords will be able to add reasonable clauses to the model agreement provided by the Scottish Government
  • New legislation which removes the ‘no fault’ element of ending a tenancy meaning a tenant cannot be asked to leave simply because the tenancy has reached its end.
  • Landlords will have grounds for repossessing their property, such as intention to sell or move in themselves or where there is a legal impediment to a tenancy continuing; e.g. where landlord registration has been revoked or refused.
  • Rent increases to be limited to one per year and subject to three months notice allowing tenants more time to budget accordingly. The tenant will have the right to refer to the First Tier Tribunal if they believe the resultant rent is above market value.
  • The opportunity for local authorities to implement rent controls in areas where there are excessive increases in rents and a concern about the impact this is having on tenants and the wider housing system.
  • Tenants will be able to give 28 days notice to end the tenancy at any time.
  • Landlords notice periods will change. If the tenancy is under six months, 28 days will be required depending upon the grounds relied upon. If the tenancy is over six months, 84 days notice will be required.

For more information on what these changes could mean to you, please do not hesitate to contact your local Northwood Office.

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