New Scottish Private Residential Tenancy comes into force in December

  • Insight

24 October 2017

All new leases of private residential property entered into, on or after 1 December 2017 must be in the form of the new Private Residential Tenancy. 

New government guidance

We previously reported fully on the new regime back in September, this article goes into full detail about the new Private Residential Tenancy.

Since then, the Scottish Government has published the “Scottish Government Model Private Residential Tenancy Agreement for the Private Rented Sector” accompanied by two sets of guidance notes which aim to facilitate the transition to the new regime.

Landlords must give tenants a written tenancy agreement and they may use either the Model Tenancy Agreement, supplemented by the “Easy Read Notes” or the landlord’s own style of Private Residential Tenancy Agreement, which must contain the mandatory conditions, supported by the “Private Residential Tenancy Statutory Terms Supporting Notes”. The Model Tenancy Agreement can be downloaded here.

Text in the Model Tenancy Agreement which is in bold refers to core rights and obligations and its inclusion is mandatory. Discretionary clauses are in normal text which the landlord may choose to include if he or she wishes. If a landlord chooses to use the Model Tenancy Agreement, the landlord must also issue the the “Easy Read Notes for the Scottish Government Model Private Residential Tenancy Agreement” with the tenancy agreement. The notes can be viewed here.

Landlords do have to use the Model Tenancy Agreement and may use their own style of tenancy agreement as long as it contains all of the statutory terms. 

If a landlord chooses to use their own style of private residential tenancy then the landlord must issue the “Private Residential Tenancy Statutory Terms Supporting Notes”.

It would appear to be the case that, notwithstanding the obligation to issue either the “Easy Read Notes” or the “Private Residential Tenancy Statutory Terms Supporting Notes”, the obligation to issue a Tenant Information Pack has not been superseded. 

Preparation and Signing of Documents

All documents can be downloaded from Scottish Government’s website. Private Residential Tenancies are not subject to the Requirements of Writing (Scotland) Act 1995 so the Private Residential Tenancy Agreement can be “signed” by the tenant and the landlord typing their names into the electronic document and sending it by email if all parties agree to this. A physical copy can be signed instead if this is preferred. At present, the Model Private Residential Tenancy Agreement is only available in a pdf format which is not capable of being edited, or signed (unlike the Tenant Information Pack)

We will be issuing further updates as more information is made available on this subject.

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