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