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Reform of the Private Rented Sector Tenancy System

The Private Rented Sector Strategy ‘A Place to Stay, A Place to Call Home’ strategy sets out our vision for the sector, which is:

‘A private rented sector that provides good quality homes and high management standards, inspires consumer confidence, and encourages growth through attracting increased investment.’

The strategy, informed by the work of the Private Rented Sector Strategy Group, aims to improve and grow the sector by enabling more effective regulation, applying tougher enforcement action and attracting new investment.

To take forward an action in the strategy, the Scottish Government set up the Private Rented Sector Tenancy Review Group. The group’s purpose was to examine how suitable and effective the current private rented sector system was and consider whether changes in the law were needed.

The Review Group produced a report for Ministers in May 2014, with one main recommendation: 'that the current tenancy for the Private Rented Sector, the Short Assured Tenancy and the Assured Tenancy, be replaced by a new private tenancy that covers all future PRS lets'. Ministers accepted this recommendation.

Consultation on a New Tenancy for the Private Sector

Building on the group’s work and its report findings, the Scottish Government produced proposals for a new tenancy system. In October 2014 it launched a public consultation outlining a new type of tenancy for the private rented sector. The overarching aim of the proposed new tenancy is to improve security of tenure for tenants, while providing appropriate safeguards for landlords, lenders and investors.

We received more than 2,500 responses to the first consultation from interested parties including tenants, tenant-representative organisations, landlords, landlord-representative organisations, letting agents, investors and local authorities. We had the responses analysed independently and a report on the consultation was published in March 2015.

The findings from the analysis helped us develop the proposals in our Second Consultation on a New Tenancy for the Private Sector, which explained in more detail how we expect the new tenancy system to work in practice and sought views. We received over 7,500 responses, analysed by an external contractor which published its report in August.

The Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill was subsequently introduced to Parliament on 7 October 2015. The Bill (as introduced) and its accompanying documents can be found on the Scottish Parliament website.

The impact assessments which accompany the Bill are available on the Scottish Government website: