Private residential tenancy: information for tenants

Guidance for private sector tenants on the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016.

This information should only be used if you have a 'private residential tenancy'. The Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act 2022 came into force on 28 October 2022. The Act introduces a temporary cap on rent increases for most existing tenancies, and a temporary pause of up to six months on the enforcement of some eviction orders. The emergency measures are expected to be in place until 31 March 2024 at the latest. You can find out more here.



The Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 commenced on 1 December 2017 and introduced the new 'private residential tenancy'.

Its purpose is to improve security, stability and predictability for you as a tenant and provide safeguards for landlords, lenders and investors.

The tenancy is open-ended and will last until you wish to leave the let property or your landlord uses one (or more) of 18 grounds for eviction.

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
This guide is for tenants. If you are a landlord, read 'Private residential tenancies: information for landlords' instead.


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