Renting? Know your rights!

landlord and tenant

You’ve found your dream rental property and you’re ready to sign on the dotted line. Congratulations! But before you dot those i’s and cross those t’s, it’s essential to take a look at your rights as a tenant.

Similarly, for landlords: before you rent out your prized pad, make sure you know your rights. This way, everyone will be happy.

So let’s take a closer look at the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016, which came into force in 2017. This offers security and assurances for both tenants and landlords.


Tenants should know . . .


The Paperwork

Your landlord must provide you with a written copy of the terms of your tenancy and the accompanying notes. Both parties should sign this to ratify the rental agreement.


The Timing

Did you know tenancies are now open-ended? Any tenancy that started after December 1, 2017, is now called a Private Residential Tenancy. Gone are the days of short assured tenancies that could be terminated after a fixed term of only six months.


The Costs

Feeling the pinch? Worry not: you’re protected from unscrupulous rent increases. Landlords can only raise the rent once every 12 months – and they must give three months’ notice. If you think it’s unfair, you have the right to contact a Rent Officer to investigate.


The Long Goodbye

You’re now afforded a lengthy notice period. If you’ve lived in your rental for more than six months, unless you’ve breached the terms of your contract, your landlord has to give you 84 days notice to leave. If you’ve lived there for under six months, the standard 28 days applies and you must give your landlord 28 days notice.


Landlords should know . . .


The rules

Did you know it’s your legal obligation to register with the local council prior to renting? It’s a criminal offence not to do so and your rights as a landlord all but disappear if you’re found guilty.


The upkeep

As a law-abiding landlord you’re responsible for the general maintenance and repair of the property. This doesn’t mean you can barge in willy-nilly. You’ll need your tenant’s permission to enter the property and generally with 48 hours’ notice.


The reasons

There are 18 stipulated grounds for eviction. If you want your tenant to leave the property, they must meet at least one of these reasons. If in doubt, check the Private Housing Act, which lists all of the criteria for eviction.


The down payment

Cash up front, please! It’s your right to ask for a deposit prior to renting your property. This cannot be more than two months’ rent.


The knowledge

Unless you’ve a prior agreement with your named tenant, they cannot sublet, take in a lodger or pass the tenancy to someone else. It’s also your right to know who lives in your property. Tenants should inform you in writing of any proposed changes to their situation.


See . . . renting really is a breeze when you know your rights! So, if you’re seeking a dream rental or you’re a landlord looking to lease, hotfoot it over to s1homes now.

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